Turkey Bans YouTube Again; Promoting Dumb Videos Again

from the sorta-goes-against-the-point,-right? dept

Back in March, Turkey banned YouTube over some silly immature videos that portrayed the country's founder in a negative light -- which is against the law. It was basically a lame video with schoolhouse insults. However, by banning all of YouTube, Turkey helped get that video a lot more attention, all over the world. So, in an effort to suppress an insulting video, Turkey managed to make that video quite popular. You would think that the folks in Turkey would have learned their lesson about how trying to suppress something online only makes it more popular. Apparently, they have not. While the original ban was lifted a few days later, apparently the courts have once again ruled that YouTube must be banned due to yet another video insulting various Turkish politicians. Nice of the courts to give this new video worldwide publicity like that.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 9:44am

    A regional problem

    That particular region of the world has been lagging behind for centuries. The culture reached a point that it was so restrictive and oppressive that the people almost stopped progressing entirely. Recently (post WWII) many of the nations have started to modernize, but the cultures are still lagging. This is just a minor side effect.

     

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  2.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 19th, 2007 @ 9:57am

    Making a Video Popular

    And you Mike, by writing this article, have helped to expand that video's reach!!
    Be careful or Turkey will ban you too =P

     

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  3.  
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    Sisiutil, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 10:19am

    Re: A regional problem

    I think you're betraying some LACK of familiarity with the region, in fact, especially with Turkey itself. Turkey prides itself on being one of the few countries in that region to have be modern and largely secular. Consequently Turkey has avoided many of the problems that beset their neighbours and fellow Muslim nations.

    Ataturk was largely responsible for that, and they just about worship him as a result, and understandably so. Unfortunately, that's made Turks a little too prickly about him, the way other Muslims are hyper-sensitive about portrayals of Mohamed. It's also kept them from admitting that he may have been wrong about some things, like his push to assimilate the Kurds at the expense of their language and culture.

     

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  4.  
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    Ozkal, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 10:39am

    woe to ignorance of law

    It's not an issue of publicity; the act of insulting Ataturk is illegal in Turkey (I know, I'm Turkish by blood, American by birth). So they do no wrong by boosting publicity; what are they supposed to do? Ignore it? So some dumb online yuppie can flout that Turkey was afraid to enforce its own law? Props to them for actually enforcing a law they were bound to know would procure publicity - the publicity itself actually doesn't hurt them either.. it just shows the world a video made by an apparently inept and ignorant moron and shows that they are not afraid of their history or laws.

     

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  5.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 19th, 2007 @ 10:54am

    Re #4

    I beg to differ about one tiny point you made.
    It is where you claimed you know because you are Turkish by blood. That in no way constitutes that would know their laws or culture. The only way you would know is if somebody taught you about it, be it your parents who are presumably native to Turkey(? maybe?) or yourself or somebody else.
    If you were born here and Turkish by blood, but your parents wanted to hide the entire history of that part of your origins, then they could simply have never taught you about any of it. Then you would still be Turkish by blood, and no clue about their laws there.
    Like I said, very small point. =)

     

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  6.  
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    Philip (profile), Sep 19th, 2007 @ 11:12am

    Re: woe to ignorance of law

    You do realize that they are enforcing the law on the wrong party? That's the whole issue here. YouTube is not breaking the law, only that one "inept and ignorant moron." Putting the blame on YouTube only makes Ataturk look like the "inept and ignorant moron."

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 11:28am

    To inept and ignorant I'd ad insecure. As a basic human value, people are entitled to their opinion and the right to express it. Cases like this highlight government sponsored censorship, which is WRONG! Adapt or die Turkey, adapt or die.

    Don't forget:

    Miyagi say "lie become truth only if person want to believe it."

    Sticks and stones may break your bones, but making it illegal to criticize anyone make you look like a pathetic, whine-ass child.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 11:33am

    The best way to make ANYTHING popular is to tell somebody that they're not allowed to see it or do it or apply any sort of verb to it. It's just basic human nature to try and overcome obstacles to achieve that which you're told cannot be achieved. Now if people would only stop wasting such an effort on stupid youtube videos and apply that logic to things that actually matter in life, we might actually get somewhere in terms of making this planet a better place to live.

     

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  9.  
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    Danny, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 11:46am

    Re: woe to ignorance of law

    So if that clip shows up on Break.com that will get banned too? What about goooglevideo? How about video site A? Then video site B?

    Just blindly banning each individual site that hosts an offensive video would cause the Turkish government to spend years on banning sites as they come up. If they want to protect the image of thier king then why not go after the one that posted? Surely if the government there can just up and ban a site they can find out if the user that uploaded the offending video did it from inside Turkey's borders, which would make them punishable under Turkish law.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: A regional problem

    I think you're betraying some LACK of familiarity with the region, in fact, especially with Turkey itself. Turkey prides itself on being one of the few countries in that region to have be modern and largely secular. Consequently Turkey has avoided many of the problems that beset their neighbours and fellow Muslim nations.


    Avoiding some of the problems of your more backward neighbors does not prove success. Turkey may want to modernize, however, as I stated before, they are doing so at a much slower pace. In fact, a law such as the one they are enforcing in the article, proves the point quite clearly.

    Ataturk was largely responsible for that, and they just about worship him as a result, and understandably so. Unfortunately, that's made Turks a little too prickly about him, the way other Muslims are hyper-sensitive about portrayals of Mohamed. It's also kept them from admitting that he may have been wrong about some things, like his push to assimilate the Kurds at the expense of their language and culture.

    If this is intended to prove a point of some kind, I believe you have failed. The population must like their leader (it's illegal to say otherwise), I do believe that can be said for almost every country with a dictatorship.... so they are not in good company.

    The facts are simple. As a country, Turkey is lagging well behind the rest of the world in every aspect of civilized life. I am not saying they are not making progress, but it is happening at a slower pace then other nations.

     

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  11.  
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    Casper, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 11:55am

    Re: woe to ignorance of law

    It's not an issue of publicity; the act of insulting Ataturk is illegal in Turkey (I know, I'm Turkish by blood, American by birth). So they do no wrong by boosting publicity; what are they supposed to do? Ignore it? So some dumb online yuppie can flout that Turkey was afraid to enforce its own law? Props to them for actually enforcing a law they were bound to know would procure publicity - the publicity itself actually doesn't hurt them either.. it just shows the world a video made by an apparently inept and ignorant moron and shows that they are not afraid of their history or laws.

    Just because something is a law, does not mean it should be legal. There have been many laws in the past that countries disposed of as they progressed. Once Turkey has a chance to catch up to the rest of the world, this law will be dropped from the books.

     

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  12.  
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    Steven, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 12:14pm

    As Seen on Slashdot...

    1) Make stupid video about Turkish politician.
    2) Gain massive popularity by getting youtube banned.
    3) ...
    4) Profit!

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re: woe to ignorance of law

    @11

    Exactly correct. There are reason some laws have been abolished by some countries (Slavery comes to mind in the UK/Europe/America) and others should be (being able to be called a 'terrorist' and be detained for life without trial in America at the moment. Go bush =/)

     

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  14.  
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    JS Beckerist (profile), Sep 19th, 2007 @ 12:21pm

    Link to video:

    Anyone know the language? The video (at least the first minute or so) has English text at least....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXPgtABFEds

     

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  15.  
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    JS Beckerist (profile), Sep 19th, 2007 @ 12:22pm

    hmm

    at least...I THINK this might be it! Who knows?!

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: woe to ignorance of law

    Correct but there is one thing that will always block progress and that is the current administration.

    If the current administration thinks they can twist an outdated law to its own advantage they will do so and fight tooth and nail to make sure it is never taken off the books.

     

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  17.  
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    Old Guy, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 12:48pm

    Banning

    Dammit, if the people in Turkey are upset with the banning of youtube...Let'em move to China hehe

     

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  18.  
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    RandomThoughts, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 1:09pm

    Considering some of the laws in that part of the world, banning YouTube is pretty tame.

     

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  19.  
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    Cabalamat, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 2:15pm

    You'd think they would just ban the video instead of the entire YouTube website.

     

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  20.  
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    BlackCow, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 3:48pm

    wtf

    Why are the citizens of turkey not outraged about what their government is doing! They should be pissed off and do something about it.

     

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  21.  
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    Ozkal, Sep 20th, 2007 @ 12:56am

    Re: Re: Re: A regional problem

    In that region, any pace is positive, especially considering that Ataturk was not a dictator. He made Turkey an elected republic and even banned traditional muslim clothing in public. He also instituted the cessation of the use of the arabic alphabet in favor of the latin one we are typing with. "lagging well behind the rest of the world in every aspect of civilized life." Interesting. Have you been there? Or are you relying on youtube videos as your primary source of information? I have been there; I have received the upbringing of a child born here but with strong ties back to "the family village." And a lot has changed. Considering that Turkey is less than a century old, chose the wrong side in WWI (when it was the Ottoman Empire), and was always at a crossroads during the Cold War, they have done remarkably well at trying to modernize instead of renegging on Ataturk's dream. Despite Ataturk's faults, he must be given some due, just like Bush hasn't always done the wrong thing, neither did Ataturk. And not once did I defend the law that was being upheld, just the fact that it was boldly being upheld. I agree that it's intent is prideful and does need updating, but trying to claim Turkey, as a nation, hasn't grown well in such a short time is insulting, especially given the fact that it took the United States just over a century to eliminate slavery, as well as most of its native population. Yes, I acknowledge that Turks have made similar attempts to segregate from Kurds, but never to the bonds of slavery; it must also be acknowledged that Kurds are (not as a whole, but a fair number) violent in response to the elected Turkish gov't and have little if any interest in assimilation -- they would prefer their own gov't. That happened in the US, you know, when a bunch of southerners tried to have a confederacy but we (as in, the Union) kicked their butts to make sure they understood who was who in the relationship. Why could we do it to the south (over states' rights, not slavery, contrary to popular belief), but Turkey can't do it to Kurds??? There's America fogetting her own history again.
    But, yes, banning YouTube seemed to me like the illogical application of an over-proud law.
    Our money says "In God We Trust"... every Turkish coin and banknote has Ataturk on it.

     

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  22.  
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    Cixelsid, Sep 20th, 2007 @ 6:25am

    Yeah...

    Pretty much sums up why they shouldn't be allowed into the EU.

     

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  23.  
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    Mscsrrr.com ( Turkey bans YouTube), Sep 20th, 2007 @ 12:42pm

    urkey Bans YouTube Again

    This is hilariously comical.

    I hope they should also ban American movies, TV shows, cars, food and clothes.

    UN should begin to crack down on countries like Turkey that abuse the freedom of their citizens in this flagrant idiotic way.

     

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  24.  
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    Anon, Sep 21st, 2007 @ 1:00pm

    Turks do not have a real Democracy

    Have you seen the movie Midnight Express
    See it and you will understand what Turkey is about

    Turks are mostly nationalist narrow-minded fanatics

    They try to copy the way of life of European countries but they fail every time

    Freedom of Speech is a BIG joke in Turkey

    plus they always try to copy or steal one way or another from their European neighbors the Greeks

    They are a savage nation and do not deserve to be in EU

     

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  25.  
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    Orhun SEYMEN, Jan 21st, 2008 @ 10:07pm

    Re: Anon the

    Turks do have a real democracy.
    Midnight express is a fictious story.
    You should come to Turkey and see what's going on...
    Turks are not nationalist narrow minded fanatics. People belive in social goverment..
    Mostly Greeks served Ottoman Empire for several centuries. Anatolian Turks have common cultre thats why.

    Turkey has rights from 1960's to be in EU.
    EU and Turkey has customs union.


    And The mind in banning youtube is to cut the ads, at least from Turkey...

     

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  26.  
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    lilya, Jun 13th, 2008 @ 12:37am

    Re: wtf

    we're really pissed off believe me! and we're doing something against it, but it doesn't matter! I don't get it at all!!

     

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  27.  
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    anonyfanus, Jun 13th, 2008 @ 2:00am

    Militarist Democracy

    Tip of the iceberg, not ready for a real democracy.

     

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  28.  
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    Metin Batuk, Jun 22nd, 2008 @ 4:16pm

    Re:

    Well you are talking about Turkey based on a hollywood film.That's just stupid enough to ignore your comment buddy believe me.Let me ask you a couple of questions:

    Have you ever been in Turkey?
    Do you know that you can't even tell your opinion about some historical facts because they put you in jail in France(the so called center of democracy)
    Have you ever read something about the Ottoman Empire as you can clearly see that the Turks are one of the last nations that believed in nationalism in the whole world as more than 68 nations lived together for about 600 years in Ottoman Empire just because there was NO nationalism among the people.

     

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  29.  
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    TugruL, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 9:49am

    @24

    I can bet my left arm you are a 12 years old :P...Everbody knows Hollywood is worshiping money anyway.Nevermind...

    Problem in Turkey is(probably)our leader is just some kind of asshole.But at least half of the country voted for him twice!I think we want our death.I just don't care anymore.

     

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  30.  
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    derme, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 12:06am

    banning youtube is no solution, like germany just ban the video. Turkey may have some problems about democracy but its nothing like the movie midnight express just know that

     

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  31.  
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    Kasatka, Aug 1st, 2008 @ 1:46pm

    Yes, Turkey is going through hard times nowadays. And even more, aspects of democracy is getting in danger. But that is not like, "Turkey has NO real democracy.". That is a way too big sentence for such subject.

    About what Youtube is getting banned, yeah, wrong reaction. By banning Youtube, they actually serve to those stupid offensive videos.

    And the movie "Midnight Express", is pure fiction. It is, can and may not be related to truth in anyway.

     

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  32.  
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    sldr, Aug 3rd, 2008 @ 11:45am

    midnight express

    midnight express is not fiction. torture hardly exists in turkish army even right now, they torture very hard the temporary prisoners in the army, beating them with wooden sticks is very popular, turkish army officers even not aware of what's going on in discipline areas.

     

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  33.  
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    menk, Aug 17th, 2008 @ 11:20am

    #32

    are you a turkish army officer?
    i guess you are not.
    did you heard about cia planes?
    i guess you are not.

    the director of midnight express, alan parker, apologies for exaggeration of the film.
    also the writer of midnight express,william billy hayes, accepted that he was exaggerated the story.
    so stop this torture sh*t.


    and if you want to know something about your(u.s.a.) prisons,read "gates of injustice" by alen elsner.

    by the way,if you believe everything is right in films,then you believe aliens,freaks and vampires.

     

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  34.  
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    zeynep, Aug 17th, 2008 @ 12:49pm

    This whole is thing is just like a comedy.Seriously,i am Turkish and I really think that we are not ready for EU yet,since the freedom of speech is limited and the narrow minded bastards are still in power.
    But one point should be cleared,think about USA in the 50s,the whole nation was male dominant and everything was way more traditional however things have changed a lot.Turkey has passing through pretty much the same stages.I believe we still have the minds of the American 50s along with the conflicts of the 2000s.In Turkey we are fighting against narrow minded and radically religious people and this is pulling us back.Thats why we are not ready yet for the EU.Maybe 50 years later.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous, Aug 19th, 2008 @ 4:57am

    In response to Zeynep: Make it at least 100... If there still exists a union by then.

    Turkey is on a nearly unstoppable run to become perhaps the most repressive Islamic regime to have ever existed. Decades of ignorance and incompetence from the so-called "secular" administrations who, seeking popular support, manipulated and mutilated not just the principles of the Kemalist revolution (turning Ataturk into a fascist dictator with ego problems in the process), but also lent tremendous concessions to radical Islamic cults and personae. This, coupled with an unnecessarily timeless and hasty introduction to hardcore capitalism, turned a once grateful nation into volumes of narrow-minded, uneducated fanatics asking for bloody vengeance. It was then just a matter of oratory skill (come Recep Tayyip Erdogan) to manipulate the ostensible piety of the people to achieve this frightening reactionary momentum. And it worked, thanks to the established groundwork by the above-mentioned concessions, and an obvious shift of support by the so-called "strategic partners". It worked, to the point of getting completely out of reason and control.

    The governing party (and its unstable, megalomaniac leader) has popular support in excess of 60%, as documented by recent polls, which also document that the electoral base endorses the persecution and suppression of public/legal opposition, forceful deportation of non-Muslims (Jews, specifically) and any Muslims choosing not to pursue a pious lifestyle (which they also refer to as "secret Jews" after the genealogical research of an equally unstable Professor), violence against women and children, unlimited/unjustified use of deadly force by law enforcement officers, forced religious schooling at all ages/levels, etc. With your people so demanding as this, you can't really go wrong, right? Even Iran (the Islamic Republic one, remember?) is just about recovering from such fanaticism after some 30 years, people beginning to question and file off certain extremist policies of Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs. Guess what? That same Ahmadinejad was almost crushed amidst "supporters" during his visit to Istanbul three days ago. Just because "He cursed at the Zionists! He cursed at the Americans! Oh he looks so much like us!" Talk about fanatics. Al-Qaeda could very well put up a recruiting stand and have a field day.

    All in all, banning of YouTube is just the tip of the iceberg, and justifying that as preserving the legacy of Ataturk is just plain diversion. The real issue here is that an entire nation is exchanging centuries worth of hard-earned civil rights and personal freedoms for short-term economic gains and whatever primal satisfaction an uneducated individual gets from living under the iron fist of the real dictator with ego problems.

     

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  36.  
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    bronco, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 2:41pm

    Re: anon

    relying on a '78 fictious movie when figuring out if a state has democracy or not is just pathetic. I've been there, and although it's not the freedom that US provides, it's still the sames as (or even more than) most of the European countries. I suppose Anon seems like a real fanatic himself:)

     

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  37.  
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    MAXPain, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 3:54am

    Turkey imposed Youtube ban again

    Turkey reinstated the youtube ban again after giving access to turks to watch youtube for few days. http://techshrimp.com/2010/11/03/turkey-imposes-youtube-ban-again/

     

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


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