Frontier Former Editor

August 30, 2007

And if you’ve got nothing better to do . . . .

Filed under: blogging, free speech, Wordpress — Frontier Former Editor @ 11:25 am


via raincoaster

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 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

The ban has resulted in all blogs hosted by 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 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 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 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,


Steal, copy and paste at will! Vive la Resistance!


  1. Do they have the right to free speach in Turkey?
    Those people should have known what they were getting themselves into, being born into a commie country.

    Comment by The Bagel of Everything — August 31, 2007 @ 12:41 am

  2. Hey, I live in Canuckistan, but I get to read WordPress!

    Comment by raincoaster — August 31, 2007 @ 4:08 am

  3. I’m going to ask my Turkish hairdresser about this, all three of them…that is, if I’m not cheating on them with the Hispanic one.

    I’ve always been somewhat fascinated with Turkey since Midnight Express.

    Comment by Stiletto — September 1, 2007 @ 12:12 am

  4. Turkey likes to pretend that it’s a modern, secular country, but events like this highlight what really goes on there. I’m glad for my Turkish heritage, but things there are not always as casual as they seem.

    Comment by Soylent Ape — September 1, 2007 @ 2:02 pm

  5. Considering what Ataturk replaced, I’m surprised Turkey is as calm as it has been for the last nine decades

    Comment by Frontier Former Editor — September 1, 2007 @ 7:05 pm

  6. Ataturk’s vision was for a progressive secular state, but they only have that on paper. However, to Ataturk’s great credit, modern Turkey is a lot more progressive and stable than many of its compatriots in Asia Minor.

    You could point to Turkey’s suffrage for women, recognition of Israel or even the 2003 Metallica concert in Ankara as signs of Turkey’s forward-looking society and government, but dare question someone like Oktar, and you see how far-reaching their reaction will likely be.

    (Turkey is also very chummy with Iran and still hasn’t formally recognized the Armenian Genocide, which gives one pause, doesn’t it? )

    Comment by Soylent Ape — September 2, 2007 @ 1:55 pm

  7. Turkey has the virtue of being different . . . . . much of my knowledge of Turkey came at the dinner table (no pun intended), hearing my dad’s sea stories about ports of call in Turkey during the 70’s. That alone left me with no sympathy for Billy Hayes or any real liking for “Midnight Express.”

    If one tries to run drugs in a place like Turkey . . . well, they’re probably the kind of person who’d try and steal copper wire off a live substation, so there’s no hope in talking with them.

    Comment by Frontier Former Editor — September 2, 2007 @ 2:06 pm

  8. I agree. Anyone who runs afoul of the law in Turkey should have some idea of what will happen by now. I don’t sympathize with them either.

    Comment by Soylent Ape — September 6, 2007 @ 9:41 pm

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