Monday, September 03, 2007

Wordpress banned in Turkey

Just seen this at Raincoaster. Here's her article in full.


steal this: don’t block the blog letter

Don’t block the blogHere is a really quite flawless letter that cjwriter wrote to the Turkish Ambassador to Australia regarding the recent banning of all Wordpress.com blogs in Turkey (and, indirectly, Albania, because Albania gets much of its internet access from Turkey). I suggest, as he suggests, that you copy and adapt the text and send it to the Turkish embassy in your own country. Judyb12 has supplied an abbreviated list of them:

Turkish Embassy: USA
Turkish Embassy: UK
Turkish Embassy: Australia
Turkish Embassy: Canada

RE: Freedom of Speech

Dear Mr __________,

My name is __________. I live in ______ and I’m writing to you regarding an action a Turkish court has taken that is of great concern to me.

On August 17th, 2007, the Turkish Fatih 2nd Civil Court of First Instance blocked access to the Wordpress.com domain. The ban on Wordpress, a blogging platform hosting some 1.3 million blogs, was a response to a suit filed by lawyers for Adnan Oktar alleging that defamatory statements had been made about their client by several blogs on Wordpress.com.

The ban has resulted in all blogs hosted by Wordpress.com being made inaccessible to Turkey. I feel very strongly that this is an overreaction. I am a blogger on Wordpress; I have done nothing wrong, but my readership is being impacted.

Even more serious is the fact that there are many innocent Turkish bloggers on Wordpress.com who now cannot access their blogs or are being forced to use other means to access them. It is a violation of their free speech and that of readers from all over the world.

Please understand, this is not about whether Adnan Oktar was slandered, or about the Turkish legal system; I respect your country, as I hope you respect mine. But it has gone beyond that. Now it is about innocent Turkish bloggers being forced into silence, and countless others being denied the freedom to be read. The court could have ordered that the offending blogs and any subsequent offenders be blocked, but instead ordered the complete ban of Wordpress.com. It’s the equivalent of closing a library because of a single offending book, rather than just removing the book itself.

Many websites and blogs on both Wordpress.com and on other platforms are initiating campaigns in support of Turkish bloggers, and I am writing to you to express my concern, and to ask that the Turkish authorities reconsider their position.

Yours sincerely,

____________.

3 comments:

raincoaster said...

Thanks for posting it. It's blogs other than Wordpress.com which will be able to get the news out to Turkey that this has happened; the government's not about to tell them. I appreciate your passing this along.

Ordovicius said...

Bloody hell!

Sean Jeating said...

Right now stumbled over your site and this very post via Ordivicius.

This is indeed a very "strange" story. Quite a few well-known media in Turkey meanwhile could know that Turkish bloggers are banned from access to wordpress.com, as their chief columnists received emails, in which they have been told the brief fact, in which they got offered some links for basic research, in which they have been asked to start / initiate investigation and as soon as possible publish the story (behind), as it's a matter of "freedom of speech" respectively censorship!
There has, yet, not been any reply.

Anyway, your post reminds me of that it is time to ask further questions. :)
Chapeau.