Soob

Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Blogger Censored in Turkey

I'd lament that what the US lost in the downfall of Pakistani dictator General Pervez Musharraf, was a nascent model for Pakistan that ran along the same lines of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. An Islamic state with progressive, secular and modernized governance.
This latest bit of news is rather worrying. Turkey has been systematically banning various online services. The latest via BasBasBas.com:

Since today, whoever tries to access Blogger or any *.blogspot.com domain from Turkey will get the following message on my screen:

(Blogger's banned in Turkey screenshot.)

This is the same message we get if we try to visit YouTube, which is also banned in Turkey. In the past blogging platform Wordpress.com has been banned as well (read more), to much dismay of many Turkish bloggers.

It is suspected that the reason for this has something to do with Adnan Oktar, by some considered the leading Muslim advocate for creationism, who has in the past managed to get Wordpress, Google Groups, as well as Richard Dawkins’ website banned.
Bad news. Turkey's initial ambivalence prior to America's invasion of Iraq seems to be evolving, via domestic movement toward Islamic fundamentalism.

4 comments:

The Red Son said...

I don't know if I agree with your statement that censorship=Islamic Fundamentalism. Isn't censorship=totalitarianism/severely restrictive government, regardless of the ideology behind it?

Jay@Soob said...

First off my post was piss poor, very much incomplete. This is what happens when you assume the reader is in the same mindset as you. My bad, as they say.

Let me qualify it a bit. Oktar's fundamentalism is much more alike to Pat Robertson than Osama bin Laden. So my "Islamic fundamentalism" makes sense definitively but given the buzzword quality of that term and the image it carries fundamentalist creationism might have been a better term.

In this essence, your take is right on. If this guys fundamentalist ideals are so popular (despite his being repeatedly jailed for them) that they're resulting national censorship then Turkey is moving further away from secularism, closer to fundamentalism and closer to the totalitarianism you mentioned above.

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JSN said...

I am no expert on the precise path of Ataturk as a reformer-by-force, but I never saw Musharaff do anything which compares.

I'm checking the wikipedia page. Ataturk was wiping out the power of the national Islamic Bishop (Caliph) in his first two years. He started primary education in those two years. That's just the beginning.

Musharaff, who spoke English better than Urdu (the official language) or Punjabi (his own language(?) and the language of plurality of top generals), was amazing at doing just enough to please the west, if you ask me.

What did he do for the people? Stopped foreign funding of the Islamic schools? Force them to teach subjects other than the Koran? Doesn't sound comprable.

Ataturk was an enlightened despot.