The online encyclopedia Wikipedia is inaccessible in Turkey, with officials saying it was blocked as an "administrative measure" thereby explaining why the courts weren't involved. Turkish media says the government asked Wikipedia to take stuff down, but was ignored.
"After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651 [governing the internet], an administrative measure has been taken for this website," Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority was quoted as saying, giving no further details.
However, the Hurriyet daily newspaper said Wikipedia had been asked to remove content by certain writers whom the authorities accuse of "supporting terror" and of linking Turkey to terror groups. The site had not responded to the demands, Hurriyet said, and the ban was imposed as a result.
The BBC's Mark Lowen says website blocking is common in Turkey, with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube among past targets. Twitter reports that Turkey, whose notoriously thin-skinned president Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently assumed greater powers, is the origin of more than half the requests it receives to remove tweets. Read the rest
Though Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan presides over a nominal democracy, he has surrounded himself with all the trappings of dictatorship: spending more than a billion tax-dollars on a "palace" for himself, hiring the mafia to smuggle his money-laundering kid out of Italy ahead of the police, conspiring to launder millions himself, brutalizing protesters, jailing critics and comedians, arresting and purging public institutions of his opposition, and more. Read the rest
After 2016's bungled coup and as part of his subsequent crackdown on political enemies and the media, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants new powers to hire and fire government ministers. The debate in Turkey's parliament got out of hand, with members of the ruling AK Party and opposition Republican People's Party getting into fisticuffs. Read the rest
Prepare a turkey as usual, but add a prosciutto-wrapped pork loin with spaghetti teeth into the just-split chest cavity of the bird, garnished with dye-enhanced gravy and cranberry sauce -- YUM! Read the rest
Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues his massive, authoritarian purge of his country's public institutions, news media and civil society groups with a fresh wave of public-sector firings, bringing the total number of jettisoned public servants to 100,000. Read the rest
Shavkatbek Saipov was vacationing in Turkey in 2013 when he was hit in the eye by a teargas cannister fired by police during the brutal crackdown on the Occupy Gezi protests; he lost the eye and sued the Turkish police. Read the rest
Earlier this month, Wikileaks published a database of six years' of email from AKP, Turkey's ruling party -- but as outside experts have plumbed that database, all they can find is archives from public mailing lists, old spam, and some sensitive personal information from private citizens. Read the rest
Update: This dump turned out to primarily consist of public mailing list traffic; Wikileaks promotions of the dump included links to spreadsheets containing thousands of Turkish women's sensitive personal information, and the organization has largely ducked responsibility for its mistakes, attacking those who point out its mistakes.
Wikileaks have just published the Erdoğan Emails, which is claimed to represent years' worth of email from the APK, the Turkish ruling party, with messages dating from 2010 to as recent as July 6. Read the rest
The failed military coup in Turkey was bizarre, even (especially) by the standards of Turkish military coups (which is a surprisingly large data-set), and in the wake of the coup, 6,000 people were promptly rounded up and arrested including respected judges, powerful military leaders, prosecutors, and a whole list of others whose names seem to have been put on an enemies list long before any coup. Read the rest
Turkey is in the throes of an attempted military coup at the time of this post.
Military officials aligned with the junta tried took over CNN Turk in Istanbul, minutes after the news network reported the death toll from Parliament, and word that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was flying back to the city after being briefly (?) sort of ousted from control. Read the rest
An attempted coup is underway in Turkey. Earlier today, barricades were erected on bridges in Istanbul and jets were spotted flying low in Ankara; by 11:30 p.m., the Prime Minister said that the government remained in charge; shortly before midnight, the military—or at least part of it—said it was. Read the rest
When German chancellor Angela Merkel allowed the prosecution of a comedian who had insulted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, some thought it was strategic: that by doing so, it exposed the country's ancient ban on insulting heads of state to broad legal scrutiny.
A court in Hamburg, however, has now banned most of the insulting poem from being read in public there, further rattling those worried about free speech in Germany.
In Tuesday's ruling the court found that "Erdogan does not have to put up with the expression of certain passages in view of their outrageous content attacking (his) honour."
The court found that such material overstepped the boundaries of decency in attacking the Turkish leader.
[Comedian Jan] Boehmermann has indicated his poem was a response to Ankara's decision to summon Germany's ambassador to protest a satirical song broadcast on German TV which lampooned Erdogan in far tamer language.
This line, from the court, really sums up the problem: "Through the poem’s reference to racist prejudice and religious slander as well as sexual habits, the verses in question go beyond what the petitioner [Erdogan] can be expected to tolerate.”
"Germany's Ai Weiei," Boehmermann's clever self-appellation, has a good ring to it, but is surely inaccurate. How often does China interpret its laws for the tolerance of a foreign head of state? Read the rest
Bruno Kramm, leader of Berlin's branch of the German Pirate Party, was arrested Saturday for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Kramm was detained while conducting a "literary analysis," in support of comedian Jan Boehmermann, outside the Turkish Embassy in Berlin. As part of the publicity stunt, he read two lines of Boehmermann poem ridiculing Erdogan.
The incident comes after chancellor Angela Merkel allowed prosecutors to file charges against Boehmermann, following Turkish demands that he be punished for broadcasting the poem on local television.
Boehmermann, however, was not physically detained by police.
RT reports that Kramm was
"approached by several police officers" after he began citing the lines and taken into custody. Police dispersed the gathering, according to RT.
The arrest will further embarrass the German government, which sees itself as supportive of free speech but has failed to scrap an old law against insulting foreign heads of state. Merkel has promised to do so, but has also been criticized for condemning the poem and cosying up to the Turks to get them to accept more Syrian refugees. Read the rest
The Turkish government privately contacted Germany's ambassador to demand the censorship of a video satirizing the thin-skinned, famously corrupt Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, he of the 1,000-room palace whose erection required the razing of a nature preserve. Read the rest
Italian police spokesman Lt. Colonel Domenico Grimaldi says that Bilal Erdoğan was able to jump bail on money laundering charges because the Saudi embassy paid the mafia to help get him clear, assisting them with fraudulent diplomatic papers and a Saudi prince disguise. Read the rest
A Turkish doctor is on trial for sharing a meme with side-by-side photos of the president of Turkey and Gollum. He is accused on insulting the president. The court has assembled a team of experts to determine whether or not the president resembles Gollum, a character from Lord of the Rings that J.R.R. Tolkien described as "a small, slimy creature."
From IBI Times:
The experts, including two academics, two behavioural scientists and an expert on cinema, will reportedly decided whether Erdogan was insulted in the tweet.
[The doctor], who claims that Gollum is not a bad character and that he did not insult anyone, faces up to two years in prison if convicted.
Read the rest