Turkish Government Says Online Freedom Is Like Violence Against Women

from the I-don't-even dept

As anyone who has been following the news knows, Turkey has been going through a turbulent patch recently. It's also been trying to control dissenting voices online, as Techdirt has reported. So it comes as no surprise that it is bringing in even stricter censorship laws:

Amendments under debate in parliament to Turkish Law No. 5651, which governs all Internet content in the country, are the latest assault on freedom of expression in Turkey. The law was originally enacted in May 2007 to curb access to YouTube videos and online pornography, but the Turkish government regularly hides behind this law and others like it to filter or block content it disfavors, including advocacy for Kurdish rights. The independent press agency Bianet estimated that 110,000 websites were blocked in 2011 alone, while Google reported Turkish requests to remove content from the web rose nearly 1000% last year.

Proposed amendments to Law No. 5651 would provide for additional penalties on authors, content providers, and users of content it deems inappropriate with no effective means of redress.
What is surprising, though, is that alongside legislative changes, the Turkish government has also embarked on a bizarre advertising push:
The Turkish government started a new campaign against "too much freedom." Next to an image of a beaten woman is a line that translates "Violence is a crime. What about the Internet? Absence of rules does not mean liberty!", equating surfing the Internet freely and expressing opinions with using violence against someone.
This is Nicolas Sarkozy's "Internet as Wild West" trope pushed to extremes that even he would never have dared to explore.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 12:57pm

    Subtle as a sledgehammer

    You know, I can't help but wonder if the intended message isn't something rather different than it's supposed to appear as at first glance, but rather is meant to imply the idea of 'Look at this face. This could be you if you stand up to us and our authority, and you wouldn't want that now would you?'

     

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  2.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 1:03pm

    Turkey is using violence against women as an excuse for this?

    Uhh, last I checked, Turkey isn't exactly renowned for its protection of women.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing#Turkey

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 1:06pm

    Turkish Government Says Online Freedom Is Like Violence Against Women

    To be fair, many western redfems agree with that.

     

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  4.  
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    Jay (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 1:10pm

    Seen before...

    Isn't this the entire "stop beating your wife" argumentative fallacy which we see in copyright?

    Or the "think of the girls/children" argument?

    It's a moral plea which captures a certain amount of an audience but doesn't convince anyone of the validity of their arguments.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    S. T. Stone, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 1:12pm

    Wow.

    Just…wow.

    So this is how free speech dies: with horrible metaphors.

     

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  6.  
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    vegetaman (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 1:15pm

    So we're equating freedom of speech with beating women?

    I'd say this stupid campaign is done before it starts...

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 1:30pm

    What if a woman dissents against the government online? Is this her picture after the government was through with her?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 1:35pm

    Turkey is equating freedom with lawlessness. The question is, do the majority of people in Turkey value freedom over strict religious laws?

    I shouldn't really pick on Turkey. The UK is doing the exact same thing, but they're rolling out their censorship program as a "Save the Children", campaign.

    US censors under a "Copying is Theft" campaign.

    Russia censors under a "Beware of the Gays" campaign.

    China censors under a "Tiananmen Square never happened" campaign.

    I'm sure that these information control campaigns, are just warming up.

    Next up, "Terrorists use Encryption and VPN providers" campaign.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 2:01pm

    "Violence against women is wrong... unless we're the ones doing it." - The Turkish government

     

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  10.  
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    bshock, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 2:27pm

    Re:

    This is how freedom in general dies, I suspect.

    Reminds me of Tom Perkins's recent comparison of how beleaguered billionaires are treated and Kristallnacht. How dare the common folk suggest publicly that income inequality exists?

    Next we're going to see the Koch Brothers whining about how the U.S. has turned into Soviet Russia because they can't even buy off American politics in peace.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 2:45pm

    It says "violence is a crime, what about violence on internet?", you translated it wrong... In fact, it makes sense. Still, i hate Turkish governement.
    Source: I'm Turkish.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 2:52pm

    The internet as a Wild West worked better than the Enlightened Regulated internet we have now.

     

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  13.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 3:05pm

    Re:

    Particularly because the "wild west" is largely a myth. It was never the bastion of lawlessness that westerns portray it as.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 3:39pm

    Re:

    Don't worry, everybody hates their government.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 4:02pm

    i wonder how long it will be before there is serious unrest in Turkey, then? more and more countries are doing this sort of thing, including so-called democratic ones. i cant see the Turkish citizens putting up with this for too much longer! and as for the ridiculous comparison, that just goes to show the mentality of those running the country and that they dont deserve to be in power anyway! dictatorships fail and all who agree with that doctrine are fine until it's them being dictated to!

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 4:28pm

    Re:

    The problem in Turkey is the lack of a reasonable alternative. But I guess the same thing could be said about a large percentage of the worlds "less ideal democracies"...

     

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  17.  
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    steell (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 5:02pm

    Do they still have the "Compound" in Incirlik Turkey where women were jailed until they worked off their husbands debt by prostitution? It was a popular place for Airmen in the 70's. I just can't imagine anyone mentioning womens rights and Turkey in the same story.

     

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  18.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 5:03pm

    Re:

    That... really doesn't make any more sense. 'Violence on the internet'? What, like someone saying something mean to you or something? To compare physical harm like depicted in the picture/ad, to words on a screen(like say, those critical of the government)... that is a serious reach there, and would seem to suggest they're getting pretty desperate.

     

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  19.  
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    Drew, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 5:31pm

    Refreshing to see this much honesty in government.

    Turkey's government cares about their citizen's online freedom and their women in equal measure: not a whit.

     

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  20.  
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    TheLoot (profile), Jan 30th, 2014 @ 6:34pm

    Re: Re:

    Haven't you heard? Virtual murder is murder!

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2014 @ 10:00pm

    Copyright!

    Look at this face! This is what copyright infringement does! Stop copyright infringement today!

     

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  22.  
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    Jake, Jan 31st, 2014 @ 1:38am

    Re: Re:

    I think they mean using the internet to plan acts of violence. Though I daresay they already have perfectly satisfactory laws on the books against solicitation of murder and/or conspiracy to commit a felony.

     

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  23.  
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    Pragmatic, Jan 31st, 2014 @ 2:07am

    Re: Re:

    Oh, you've seen that whining rant in The Atlantic? I thought it was satire.

    What with that and certain employers seeking ownership rights over their employees (don't get me started, but basically, if you don't share and adhere to their religious beliefs they want the right to control your personal life), we're pretty much screwed if this is the way the powers that be really think.

     

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  24.  
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    Pragmatic, Jan 31st, 2014 @ 2:11am

    Re:

    Citation? I can't find anything about it online, except in one HubPages article.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2014 @ 4:11am

    Does anyone else find "Absence of rules does not mean liberty!" reminiscent of something our persistent trolls would say in response to an article arguing for due process and against prior restraint on the internet?

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    169, Feb 1st, 2014 @ 4:04pm

    Anonymous Coward,

    Regarding your point about various major countries engaging in censorship, I none of the other countries at this point in time including Turkey can really compare with China in terms of its extreme internet censorship. That said, you can easily get around this sort of thing with a VPN. Hahaha.
    -169

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2014 @ 5:08am

    Re:

    Umm....you don't read international news much, do you?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_protests_in_Turkey

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    169, Feb 2nd, 2014 @ 9:28pm

    Re: Re:

    I am well aware of the protests in Turkey. In fact, while on vacation there, I just missed a confrontation between the police and protesters. Late May 2013 (around the end of the third week I think), I walked by a small group of protesters and a few minutes later, police and one reporter all rushed past me with gas masks on. A little later, while waiting at the bus stop, some tear gas wafted over causing our eyes to tear up.

    Anyways, we are talking about internet censorship, not protests or police brutality. I am not saying internet censorship doesn't exist in Turkey, but I am saying it is no where near as extreme as it is in China. I remember when I was first visiting China before I moved there later, it was literally impossible to do any kind of search on news for Libya (in summer 2011) or the Arab Spring for that matter.

    But before moving there, I learned what every expatriate (and some internationally mind Chinese) knows about dealing with the Great Fire Wall. Use VPN (virtual private network). Sure, there is a cat and mouse game going on with some VPN sites getting slowed down or blocked altogether by the Chinese government, but then the VPN sites reorganize and find other ways to make their services work. My point is that anyone who wants to get around censorship of the internet, can do so through any one of a variety of VPN sites. Perhaps, you may scoff at this point, but I would suggest this will only become more common among the populace in China.

    And I have no doubt that the same solution will work quite well for Turkey.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 8:23am

    Re:

    stop giving them ideas!

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re:

    Now text usenet groups, damn that was fun. Still use the binaries, my isp for some reason never got rid of the used-to-be mandatory usenet access.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re:

    Turkey is also not a dictatorship. Good luck getting rid of the ruling party though, although I don't think those guys were always in power (Erdogan and crew).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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