THE entire nation of Turkey is behaving as if it were a creationist website. No, we’re not exaggerating.
We’ve all seen this sort of madness on the internet. A website starts out by encouraging vigorous debates, attracts a following, is about to achieve some influence — but then the creationists who have been gradually moving in manage to achieve critical mass. They generate chaos, complain to the management, and one by one they get the “trouble makers” — those who don’t agree with them — banned. Eventually, what had once been a great place to chat becomes a virtual ghetto voluntarily inhabited by idiots.
We’ve seen it on the internet (anyone remember Free Republic?), and now we can see it happening to the nation of Turkey.
In the Istanbul-based Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review, formerly the Turkish Daily News, the oldest current English-language daily in Turkey, we read Wake up! Something is wrong. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
The Turkish leaders are still playing the three monkeys when it comes to Internet abuse. I begin to think that they believe that Internet doesn’t exist since they don’t see it. Otherwise they would surely realize the harm they have created for the Turkish people and the state. Or maybe they think that if a Web site is banned in Turkey, anyone else in the world won’t be able to access it either. Otherwise they would do something about Youtube because videos against Turkey are increasing whereas the Turkish people cannot reply because they don’t have legal access. Which means that more and more people in the world are subjected to videos that humiliate Turkey and Turks cannot defend their ideas.
They’ve banned YouTube? Let’s read on:
Banning of Web sites has become a regular act for Turkish courts. This harms Turkey beyond any monetary means. Even though the country is spending hundreds of millions of dollars for tourism advertisements, one court decision that is perceived as highly undemocratic strengthens the negative opinions of foreigners, especially those who are richer and able to establish businesses in Turkey. Who would want to establish a business in a country that banned the biggest Internet trading powerhouse like alibaba.com?
Never heard of them, but we get the general idea. The article continues:
All around the world, countries are banning harmful content like child porn but other than that Internet is a free realm of creativity and sharing. Whereas in Turkey anyone can make a Web site banned with any kind of a complaint — as long as they can make a judge who is most probably completely unaware of the implications of his/her decision- to ban any kind of a Web site.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Here’s more:
A Turkish court had banned world famous evolutionist Prof. Richard Dawkins’ Web site (richarddawkins.net) in Turkey on the grounds that Adnan Oktar’s personality was violated by the comments in this site. The court had reached the decision to ban the site on Sept. 3. The site was accused of containing insults against Oktar’s (also known as “Harun Yahya”) book titled “Atlas of Creation.”
Dawkins has been Expelled, as it were. We’ve written about Harun Yahya a few times before. See: Harun Yahya Offers Eight Trillion Dollar Prize! In other words, he’s a creationist, and not much else needs to be said — except that he can get your website banned in Turkey.
According to bianet.org, another complaint by Adnan Oktar had led to the banning of another Web site on Sept. 24, 2008. This time, the 2nd Civil Court of First Instance of Gebze, Istanbul had banned the Web site of the Union of Education and Scientific Workers (Eğitim-Sen), egitimsen.org.tr. The reason for the ban was the union’s press release about Adnan Oktar’s “Atlas of Creation,” which had been sent to schools free of charge on Feb. 28.
That book, “Atlas of Creation,” is one of the greatest jokes in creationist history. See what Wikipedia has to say. Think about it — in Turkey, people like Harun Yaha have the power to decide what their countrymen can see on the internet. It’s 1984 in a Middle Eastern setting.
Let’s skip to the end of the article:
The government should realize that there is something wrong about these laws. If they really want democratization, they should start by fixing the laws about Internet. Because Internet is not virtual, it is real and it is a part of our lives.
If we’re correct in observing that Turkey is exhibiting all the symptoms of Creationist Website Syndrome (CWS), then the next banning will be the newspaper that published this article. Really — we’ve seen how creationists behave when they get a little bit of power.
When websites or countries go crazy, it’s a badge of honor to be banned. Perhaps one day they’ll get around to banning your Curmudgeon. One can hope.
See also: Turkey Bans Darwin from the Internet.
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