Turkey bans website of Richard Dawkins

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adamd164
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Turkey bans website of Richard Dawkins

Post by adamd164 » Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:40 pm

Turkey bans biologist Richard Dawkins' website
Science News | Sep 17, 2008, 13:34 GM

Ankara - Turkish internet users have been blocked via a court order from accessing the site of prominent British biologist Richard Dawkins after complaints from lawyers for Islamic creationist author Adnan Oktar, the website of Turkish television station NTV reported on Wednesday.

A court in Istanbul ordered that Turk Telekom block access to the site and since the weekend Turkish internet users seeking the site have been redirected to a page that says in Turkish 'access to this site has been suspended in accordance with a court decision'.

NTV reported that Oktar complained he and his creationist book 'Atlas of Creation' had been defamed by comments made by Dawkins on the site.

'I am at a loss to reconcile the expensive and glossy production values of this book with the breathtaking inanity of the content,' Dawkins, a distinguished advocate of the theory of evolution, wrote on his website in July referring to the Atlas of Creation.

The book has caused controversy not just through its advocation of creationism but also through how thousands of copies of book were distributed to schools in a number of European countries.

Oktar has used the Turkish courts on a number of occasions, the latest being earlier this year when he attempted to have Dawkins' book The God Delusion banned in Turkey on the basis that it was insulting religion but a Turkish court threw the case out.

In August 2007, Oktar, who writes under the pen name Harun Yahya, convinced a Turkish court to block access to millions of web blogs using the Wordpress.com hosting service after finding that a number of blogs carried libellous comments.

In May, Oktar was found guilty of creating an illegal organization for personal gain and sentenced to three years imprisonment. He is appealing the decision.
http://www.monstersandcritics.com/scien ... ns_website
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Post by FXR » Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:44 pm

Censorship has always been the refuge of organised religionism when faced with the truth. If there is something you can't bear to be said there is something you are afraid of which has to be banned.
Human communication is a very rickety rope bridge between minds. Its too narrow to allow but a few thoughts to cross at a time. Many are lost in the chasms of noise, suspicion, misinterpretation and shooting the message through dislike of the messenger.
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Post by ctr » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:46 pm

This will not help their chances of joining the EU..
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Post by Ygern » Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:56 am

This is less to do with religion, and more to do with a litigious Creationist criminal thug who some how always has the money to try to stifle critics throught the courts.

His latest dribbling Opus Magnus is so hugely inept that he put photos of fishing tackle (lures) into his 'biology' book and claimed these were real insects that proved Evolution wrong.

To be fair, the Turkish courts are very often the ones standing up for democracy and secularism. Earlier this year they overturned their own government's law on veils for women in public places.
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Post by psillery » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:46 am

This is Ridiculus. Once you stifle free speech you are telling people that only your views are correct and that other views are not only Irrelevant but illegal. What nonsense!

I support free speech for everyone, no matter the subject matter. I detest neo-nazis to the core but I support their right to free speech. In fact I encourage it. People can then read their views and see them for what they are.
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Post by DollarLama » Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:55 am

Hi Psillery, here's an interesting free-speech dilemma - (but first let me make my own position clear in case you think I'm being dishonest: I think Turkey ought to join the EU - this will of necessity cause the Turkish state to get its human rights attitudes fixed, and I'm in favour of free speech, including allowing the likes of neo-nazis access to media, in order that their bile can be confronted openly and dealt with.)

I was in Turkey a couple of years ago, and I noticed a headline in a local English-language newspaper there. A top General's criticisms of government policy were reported. I can't remember now what the topic was, but I remember at the time thinking that his criticism was appropriate and well-argued - seem to remember he was criticising some reactionary policy of the government's: the General was a secularist. Then I took a step back and thought: "Whoah! I'm supporting the armed wing of the state in criticism of the elected officials of the state!"

In Europe there's a consensus that the military do not make statements on the correctness or otherwise of government policy. Is that free speech?

regards
DL
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Post by Ygern » Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:03 pm

Look at it this way: you may have the freedom of speech right to tell your boss in front of a customer that he dresses funny and needs to cut back on the aftershave; but that won't save you from being fired for saying something professionally inappropriate in your place of work.

The army exists to carry out / enforce certain policies of the executive branch of their government so it is extremely politically incorrect to voice criticisms in that capacity.

On the other hand, Turkey has tried very hard to have a secular government for years; and the current incumbents seem to be hell-bent on destroying that and setting up a fundamentalist Muslim regime instead. So I have nothing but admiration for people who are prepared to stand up to them.
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Post by psillery » Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:15 pm

DollarLama wrote: I was in Turkey a couple of years ago, and I noticed a headline in a local English-language newspaper there. A top General's criticisms of government policy were reported...... Is that free speech?
Esentially the army is the tool of the government. The army are there to take orders and protect a nations Citizens. However they are human and have basically the same rights as anyone else.

In this instance, I think the General has the right to free speech especially if he has exhausted all other avenues of relaying his concerns to the powers that be.

There are, however protocols that are usually adhered to in these situations in the west i.e. the military communicating a concern to the government.

As we dont know the subject matter of the generals gripe or what his motives were (was he trying to undermine the government to help install an islamic theocracy for instance?) it is very hard to comment.

Usually in the west the generals gripe would be sent through official channels behind closed doors. These things only make it into the media when the person with the gripe has exhausted all other available avenues.

Once again it is very hard to make comment due to the absence of facts in this case but in principle, my answer is yes. The general does have the right to free speech, but as he is in a position of authority/influence and
protocols should be adhered to (especially in Volatile areas of the world) unless these avenues fail.

Eseentially once this is the system in place in a country, we can assume that the general has such a serious concern about a particular policy that he is willing to defy protocol and risk being fired/demoted in order to further the publics cause.
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Post by lostexpectation » Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:59 pm

DollarLama wrote: I was in Turkey a couple of years ago, and I noticed a headline in a local English-language newspaper there. A top General's criticisms of government policy were reported. I can't remember now what the topic was, but I remember at the time thinking that his criticism was appropriate and well-argued - seem to remember he was criticising some reactionary policy of the government's: the General was a secularist. Then I took a step back and thought: "Whoah! I'm supporting the armed wing of the state in criticism of the elected officials of the state!"

In Europe there's a consensus that the military do not make statements on the correctness or otherwise of government policy. Is that free speech?

regards
DL
the general position doesn't allow for free speech, like a lot of jobs, but then the army are the only thing stopping turkey from becoming a theocracy,so its messy, don't nessecarily see its as european though.
test
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Post by DollarLama » Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:32 am

lostexpectation wrote: the general position doesn't allow for free speech, like a lot of jobs, but then the army are the only thing stopping turkey from becoming a theocracy,so its messy
Yeah, it's an interesting dilemma, isn't it? There's a big upsurge in religious fundamentalism in Turkey. Istanbul is still very secular, but the hinterlands are deeply conservative.
lostexpectation wrote: don't necessarily see its as European though.
No, Turkey isn't European, that's the interesting part of it. Since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey's adopted Europe's secular outlook and we as Europeans should be delighted about that and warmly embracing Turkey. Much of the anti-Turkish rhetoric in Europe is plain old xenophobia.
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