Greece vs. Turkey vs. YouTube: Greek youtubers chime in

The court-ordered YouTube block in Turkey this week (background posts: 1, 2, 3) resulted from an international flame war between videoblogging trolls in Greece and Turkey. First, a YouTube user, presumably Greek, uploaded a homegrown videomontage called "Kemal Gay Turk." The clip (since removed, possibly by YouTube/Google) questioned the masculinity of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Republic of Turkey. Insulting Turkishness — and the awesomeness of this particular patriarch — is serious business in Turkey, and the state is in the process of making it an official crime. Regional tabloid media threw gas on the fire, non-'net-savvy politicians who were already stoking nationalist fervor piled on, next thing you know, it's Dr. Strangelove meets Borat after five stiff shots of Raki.

In an earlier BoingBoing post, we heard from Turkish YouTube users. Now we'll hear from the Greek side.

About the image above, BoingBoing reader Gryzor says:

This image is from the defaced homepage of a greek site and speaks volumes of the silliness surrounding the issue. Of interest is the fact that the hacker seems genuinely hurt that they cannot access YT because of the videos and then goes on to threaten with ethnic cleansing (the 'being poured to sea' is a reference to Smyrna's destruction in 1922, when the entire Greek population was thrown out and a big number of inhabitants drowned in the port in their attempt to flee).

Concerning the commentary of the Turkish BB reader (whom I feel I must congratulate for his calm objectivity), here's a quick look into the subject from the greek side, at least those details I managed to follow…

[ The full text of Gryzor's comments and those of other Greek BoingBoing readers follow after the jump. ]

It all starts with the wonderful practice of all (AFAIK) armies of the world to instill fanaticism and racist views into their soldiers. The Greek army being not an exception, various nice little songs have been composed expressing feelings of love towards neighbors and long-time enemies. Granted, these are prohibited by military law for the last several years, and during my own military service I never heard them nor did I have to sing them. That is not to say, though, that the practice does not go on in certain units, as, for instance, the commando units where morale boost has to be higher.

So it was that some videos from a commando unit were uploaded. No surprise, I had never heard of it myself, but if you'd asked me I'd have been 100% sure that there are such videos doing the rounds, originating from every corner of the world. However, there was a big protest in FYROM (I think) and Albania, where they <irony>'exposed' us Greeks as the racist scums that we are</irony>. This was played on the TV news in Greece, and a second, counter-expose' followed, with similar videos from FYROM, Albania and Turkey, <irony>exposing our neighbors for the racist AND hypocrite scams that they are</irony>.

This issue gathering momentum, Millyet picked it up and the rest is history. What is interesting is that this move of banning YT in Turkey spurred lots of posts (in Greek fora) about how retarded the neighboring country is etc etc, therefore: victory.

As a member (Aigeas) of a greek forum said (loosely translated): The losers of Greece opened a war with the losers of Turkey, through a unique video document which will be answered, no doubt, by similar videos of Turkish origin. So silly.

BoingBoing reader method77 says,

I live in Greece and followed all this youtube non sense between Greece an Turkey. All I have to say is that is that a dumb greek kid decided to make this vid and it all went to hell. The story reached TV news but I am not surprised because all they show is crap and you have to understand that whenever something involves Turkey, they show again and again. It the way it's done when two countries have bad history involved between them. Same happens on the other side of the Aegean sea.

Everybody forgot about it although nobody cared. All they cared about -the media I mean- was to show how "bad" Turkey really is. If greeks cared then you would see a lot of crappy vids online.

btw YouTube is not blocked here.

Elusive_Cure says,

Well, this is old news for people here in greece, it even made the news on tv. Apparently it all started with the post of fake videos of dogfights over the aegean sea. Video Link.

As most people dont know, everyday in the Aegean sea turkish air force violates the Greek Air space flying over several islands. hellenic Air Force is forced to be engaged into dogfights with its F16s and Mirage2000 fighters, to a point where even accidents have happened and several aircrafts and pilots have been literally lost.

Anyway, it seems that it all started when someone has posted edited videos that show TuAF hunting down HAF fighters, and in response some Greek fellow has posted a couple of other vids showing Greek chases, which in its turn started a domino effect to posting insulting or even some propaganda videos and comments. Personally, even though i'm really insulted by everyday air space violations that defy our territorial rights and the continuous denyal of the occupation of

North Cyprus by Turkey, i believe that this ban should not have happened in the fist place as it is a violation of free speech and free information. This was a bad move for the turkish Government, and it only shows their true illiterate face to the European Community.

Alex says,

The whole conflict on YouTube started when offensive
comments by both sides were posted on videos of the
greek national soccer team and past eurovision song
contest entries (!). Things really got worse when
videos of that special edition of the reality game
"Survivor: Greece vs. Turkey" which aired in both
countries were uploaded. This word conflict was severe
and exciting (for some people, with lots of spare time
i guess) leading the most "creative" ones to make
those "insuting" (again for some people) videos.

The greek media have not payed any serious attention
to this ban, laconic posts in news blogs like this (Link)

can be found and small articles on newspapers.

However, i think that the sunday press (which is a
greek phenomenon for there are at least 10 different
newspapers available together with free magazines and
dvd offers wrapped in packages) will critisise the

Previously on BoingBoing:

  • Did Google/YouTube cave to Turkey's censorship demands?
  • Turkey: YouTube blocked by court order
  • Update on Turkey bans YouTube: all a "you're a fag" flame war?