‘Women’s Decree Resistance’ in Istanbul’s Kadıköy on 30th Day

One of the 121 thousand people who have so far been expelled with a decree ruling in the aftermath of the July 15th coup attempt in Turkey is Betül Celep who has started her personal resistance against decrees. Her resistance is today on its 30th day and is growing.

(Original on dokuz8)

Betül Celep had been expelled with the decree ruling numbered 679, on January 6th. She has started “the Women’s Decree Resistance” in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district, at the Kalkedon Square on January 23rd. It all started with Betül seeing her name next to a number in a list of people to be expelled from state offices in the aftermath of the July 15th coup attempt. She says she still does not know why she had been expelled, which is also one of her banners asking “Why Did I Get Expelled?” next to her in the square.

It has been a month since she has started her resistance, and over the last month, she has attracted attention of thousands of people, some people have come to join her, and some questioning eyes have asked what was going on. She says she used to be the syndicate representative at her work place, Betül wonders if it was one of her identities that led her to her expulsion; as a socialist, woman, feminist, human rights defender, pacifist. She continuously asks if one or more of these were reason for her losing her job and social rights.

Betül explains “if you lose your job unlawfully, you resist. This I have learned from the workers who had been laid off unlawfully after they demanded their syndical rights in Gebze, Çerkezköy, Şekerpınar. They resist because they want their rights. For this reason I have also decided to resist. I might have been expelled with a decree ruling, that does not matter. I try to raise my voice on a daily basis in this square, I repeat that I do not accept the decrees. I am trying to write our ‘Women’s Decree’ and believe that I have a historical responsibility.”

Every day other people who have been expelled with decree rulings come to visit Betül, and she listens to their stories. She learns of their conditions and tells them of the experiences she has had. She explains that the only way to end the ‘tyranny of decrees’ is to strengthen and expand the resistance and to invite other victims of decree rulings, to tell their stories too. Hence, her desire to be the voice of the decree victims in Kalkedon Square.

The Women’s Decree Resistance includes other women who have joined in and have been standing in solidarity with Betül. It is no longer a personal story, many women come in support, help her organize the square and invite all others. Betül comments on the presence of others in her month-long resistance saying

“What things these eyes have seen over the past month… We have said that a resistance is blooming in this square; in the beginning I was joyful, merry and a rookie. I still have certain flaws due to inexperience, yet I have learned a lot. On the very first day there were crowds, there were women. I have connected with many people, met hundreds of people, even those whose names I can not remember. I have had many beautiful memories, and many disappointments.”

The police has also been present at Betül’s resistance in Kadıköy. She says it was on her first day when she was to announce the decision of resistance that she was presented with ‘options’ to disperse after press statement, to only stay for two days and leave, to just conduct silent sit-in. She responded these warnings that she does not accept their advices and she can think on her own. The level of threat has increased since the first day but did not lead to a point of physical intervention yet. From time to time there are attempts to do that, but the women in the square seem not willing to give in.

Betül still stands in Kalkedon Square in Kadıköy, inviting the people who have been expelled from their jobs with a decree ruling, and encourages them to share their stories as well. She says “the decrees, much-beyond putting people on a trial of hunger, disposes one of all hope under these circumstances.” Betül also explains on her 30th day of resistance that she has come to understand the essence of state, syndicate and significance of assembly.

So far there have been declared 21 decree rulings by the government, expelling more than 121 thousand people. There are various syndicates and unions that have made calls for resistance and protest meetings in various districts of Istanbul and many other cities. Betül Celep’s is one of them, and when she was expelled, on the first day she was a single person, now she is the voice of ’Women’s Decree’.

Posted in academic freedom, Coup Attempt, Istanbul, Protests, Turkey | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turkey Adopts Conservative Curriculum for Schools

Turkey has once again updated its national education curriculum, downgrading philosophy, cutting classes on single-party rule in the 1940s and adding the latest coup attempt under philosophy and the social sciences.

(Original on Katoikos.eu)

On 16 January, the Ministry of National Education announced the new education curricula for secondary and high schools in Turkey.

The national curriculum has been a recurring topic of debate in Turkey for decades. It has always been controversial, given that all governments and political bodies have wanted to reinvent the educational system in the ideological image of the ruling party.

Less philosophy, more religion and values

The number of chapters in the philosophy course books has been generally reduced, while keeping political philosophy and philosophy of science. According to the new curriculum, class hours will remain the same at 72 hours per term, while the expected learning outcome for philosophy has been slashed from 58 to 20 points on Turkey’s assessment scale.

This major reduction of philosophy’s significance in the curriculum echoes the debate from a few years ago on the possibility of studying philosophy in the modern Turkish language. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the prime minister at the time, said that this was inadequate, insisting that one needs to use the Ottoman Turkish, which borrows the alphabet and most of its vocabulary from Arabic and Farsi, or English in order to study philosophy.

“If we were to teach philosophy for 20 years, it would be a different country”

Istanbul-born philosopher and President of Philosophical Society of Turkey, Ioanna Kuçuradi, said “We make philosophy but he does not recognise us as philosophers.” In an interview with Sözcü in March 2016, Kuçuradi claimed that ignorance is at root of Turkey’s current social and moral crises and that they could be overcome through proper philosophical education: “If we were to teach philosophy for 20 years, it would be a different country.”

A pro-government conservative education union, Eğitim Bir-Sen, recently proposed the removal of ‘Ataturkism’, the official ideology describing the founding principles of modern Turkey, from the social sciences curriculum, and starting religious education at first grade.

While Eğitim Bir-Sen’s proposal on compulsory religion classes for first grade students was not introduced, Ataturkism has indeed been scrapped, and the principle of encouraging the observance of religious holidays adopted.
In line with the spirit of Eğitim Bir-Sen’s proposal, ‘Darwin & Evolution Theory’ was also purged from the school syllabus. It had been a controversial matter in Turkey for some time, especially since the Turkish Science Institute’s prohibition of publications about evolution.

The new approach will now rely on ‘values education’, e.g. the notions of ‘national unity & solidarity’ as well as ‘national, moral and universal values’. The new curriculum refers to values education as having a cultural impact, claiming that it is significant in turning these values into new norms and daily behaviours for society in the future.
As part of the new elective course for secondary schools ‘Basic Religious Teachings’, ‘jihad’ will be taught as part of religious values. Positivism and secularism will be categorised under the ‘Problems of Faith’ chapter, dedicated to the “promotion of individualism and the separation of state and religion”. Also under the problems of faith heading, students will be taught about deism, agnosticism, atheism, nihilism, satanism, reincarnation and false prophets.

Shifts in historical education with a special focus on the 15 July coup attempt

The coup attempt on 15 July 2016, which had a major impact on social and educational life in Turkey, has also been brought into the curriculum. Students will start learning about the coup attempt starting at sixth grade as a part of social science and philosophy classes. However, it is not certain whether previous coups will be referred to in the same classes.

At high school level, the students will now be asked to write essays on “Social Resistance against the Anti-Democratic 15 July Coup Attempt” within the framework of national-will, rule of law, and democratic understanding. “National Will” is a common reference in AKP (the ruling Justice and Development Party) campaigns, referring to the strong support behind the party in elections.

Contemporary Turkish and World History classes that focus on World War II will no longer refer to the anti-war efforts of Ismet Inonu, the president of the republic at the time and leader of the single-party CHP (Republican People’s Party) regime. Nor will it refer to his contributions to Turkey’s political and economic activities in the 1940s. Inonu was a general during Turkey’s War of Independence, a friend of the founder of republic and was declared “National Chief” during World War II, while keeping Turkey out of the war at all costs. As Inonu’s efforts at neutrality are being erased from history books, the transition to a multi-party system and the history of the Democrat Party is put under the spotlight.

The class on contemporary history, which has a chapter on the ‘Cold War Period’, will now include topics on ‘Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Developments in Turkey during the Time of the Democrat Party’. This in itself was a controversial period, with the start of a multi-party system that brought about the grasp of power by the Adnan Menderes government, starting in 1946. The new topic will focus on the election systems that were initiated in this period, which was heavily criticised for authoritarian tendencies and gerrymandering, due to the Democrat Party’s post-election downgrading of urban entities that did not predominantly vote for the ruling party.

Honouring Turkish success

The revised educational curriculum will honour Turkish citizens that have had international success. High school chemistry books will now have a topic on Prof. Dr. Aziz Sancar in the chapter on ‘Relations between Inter Chemical Species’ with his Nobel Prize-winning study on DNA-repair. Contemporary History will include Galatasaray’s winning of the UEFA Cup in 2000, as well as the national football team’s finishing third in the World Cup.

Students will be informed about scientific and technological developments in Turkey, about its satellite programme and communications technologies.

While the new curriculum is being championed by some media outlets in Turkey as the new system that will generate geniuses and inventors, many critical eyes see the decreasing presence of philosophy in the curriculum and hostile approach to secularism and positivism as a problem.

Even though the AKP’s efforts to erase ideological traces from national education may appear to modernise the education system through a more results-oriented approach, rewriting the history books from a centre-right political perspective only replaces the existing problems with new ones.


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“Tolaz the Parrot” Locked Up: State of Media in Turkey

Academia and media in Turkey have been devastated by two gruesome decree rulings that stripped academics of their work and shut down over a dozen media organisations. The purge continues with full speed, and an unfortunate victim of imprisonment has been Tolaz the Parrot.

Tolaz the parrot, DIHA

Tolaz the parrot, DIHA

Dicle News Agency (DIHA) offices have been sealed after a ruling by decree decision (October 29th) declared over a dozen media organizations closed in the early hours of November 1st, when there was no office worker there. When the offices were sealed without any prior notification after the tax officers and police made their inspection and reporting, Tolaz the Parrot -the mascot of the news agency- was locked inside, and door-locks were changed.

According to media reports Tolaz answered upon a reporter knocking on the door by saying “Heval who is there” (heval: [Kurdish] brother). Several journalists kept staying at the door of the news agency offices, keeping company to the parrot from a behind the door and waiting for someone to come and open the door to free Tolaz. However for a long time, no official that had answered, seemed willing to take any responsibility, and Tolaz’s fate depended heavily on the bureaucracy of Turkey.

One Nation, One Language, One Parrot?

Contrary to the echoing motto being chanted on streets by many people and political leaders as “One State, One Language, One Nation”, Tolaz the bilingual parrot can speak up to 70 words in both Turkish and Kurdish. Tolaz’s name also comes from Kurdish, and it means “womanizer”.

Caretaker of Tolaz, a DIHA journalist Hayri Demir stated “Tolaz has not been fed since early hours of the day before and he needs food and water urgently. He gets upset when there is no one around him talking; that’s why I brought him to the office. He is quite social, responds when there is doorbell ringing or dances if there is music.”

Amidst the raids on critical news organisations and imprisonment of journalists with alleged crimes of “harbouring terrorist activities without being a member of a terrorist organisation” Tolaz the Parrot is now of symbolic value beyond a pet, in all absurdity of the situation already.

DIHA journalists waiting to free Tolaz

DIHA journalists waiting to free Tolaz

Upon the suffering cries of Tolaz, main opposition CHP’s deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu initiated a process and notified the Çankaya Municipality in Ankara to find a solution, to free the parrot from captivity. Finally when all official steps were taken, Tolaz was saved from captivity at 14.00, thanks to DIHA journalists’ efforts.

As a final word, it would be appropriate to have a closing remark with this couplet from the poet Cemal Süreya:

“Life is short,

Birds are flying…”



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The Traitors’ Cemetery: Burial place of Turkish coup plotters

Turkey has opened its first Traitors’ Cemetery in the aftermath of the July 15th coup attempt and Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor announced that the first burial has taken place.

(Original on Katoikos)

Traitors’ Cemetery


“There is a place needed, to be called the cemetery of the traitors; all passers-by to curse when around it. All those walking by should curse and spit on it; there shall be no resting in peace for them, even in their graves.” –Kadir Topbas, Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor


Some days it feels like life in Turkey is a chapter in a dark and deep dystopian novel. Today is one of those days. On July 20th, only days after the failed coup attempt, Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor, Kadir Topbaş announced his will to open a cemetery for the traitors who participated in the bloody coup on July 15th. According to media reports, the cemetery has just been opened and the first burial taken place.

The first body buried is Captain Mehmet Karabekir who killed the community chief in Istanbul’s Acıbadem neighbourhood on the night of the coup attempt. The mayor announced that the family of the dead did not want his body, so he was to be buried somewhere and the ‘Traitors’ Cemetery’ was the venue for this occasion. The cemetery is located in Istanbul’s Pendik district, at the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s ‘dog shelter’.

Previously, the religious authority of the Prime Minister’s Office, Diyanet had announced that there would be no religious services for those who died in an attempt to overthrow the government through a violent coup. Denial of religious services had previously been discussed for certain leftist/progressive academics and journalists, yet no matter how much reaction there was from right-wing supporters, the services still took place.

However, there are also many unknown graveyards of notable rebels of the state; Sheikh Said, the leader of an Islamist/Kurdish uprising in the 1920s; Seyid Rıza, the religious leader of the Kurdish movement in the 1937-38 Dersim Rebellion; Said Nursi, an influential Kurdish Sunni cleric in the early years of the Republic who later inspired many Islamist movements formation and rhetoric. Their graveyards are still unknown to date.

Apart from rebel leaders, the body of Aziz Güler, who had gone to Rojava to fight against ISIS, was kept waiting for 2 months at the border before being given to his family for burial; and another disturbance occurred when Şafak Yayla, the perpetrator who had taken prosecutor Mehmet Kiraz hostage at the Istanbul Court Palace, was killed, and his family had to bury him in the front yard of the house after violent mobs threatened to attack the body, which finally ended with his family pouring cement on the graveyard.

Attacks against graveyards are also a recurring theme in Turkey’s history. After the 1960 military coup, when the prime minister at the time, Adnan Menderes, and two of his ministers were hanged by Alparslan Türkeş (later founder of far right Nationalist Movement Party MHP), their bodies were buried in a neglected state on İmralı island –currently where the PKK leader Öcalan is kept in solitary confinement. However, Menderes’ remains were carried to a mausoleum in 1990.

The idea of a ‘Traitors’ Cemetery’ and its location at the dog shelter feels like it is straight out of a dystopia, or a horror film. However, this is the reality in Turkey; still a country that feeds on hostility, even regarding the dead. Yet, the word ‘traitor’ is used quite loosely by almost everyone, and who knows, perhaps some of those who are accusing each other of treason might lie side by side in that cemetery someday.

Posted in AKP, Coup Attempt, Istanbul, Turkey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Anonim tarayıcı TOR yeni yönetim kurulunu belirledi

Sansür ve gözetime karşı maskeleme hizmeti sunan ve anonimlik yöntemi olarak kullanılan tarayıcı TOR, proje ekibinde skandal süreci aşarak yeni koordinasyon ekibini belirledi. Daha önceki proje geliştiricisi olan Jacob Appelbaum’un cinsel istismar suçlamaları nedeniyle istifası istenirken, Shari Steele yeni direktör olarak atandı.

(Orjinali AGOS’ta)

ABD Denizcilik Araştırmaları Laboratuvarları tarafından 20 yıl kadar önce geliştirilen ve 2002’den bu yana yaygın kullanıma sunulan TOR (The Onion Router) tarayıcı, son yıllarda sansür ve gözetim sistemleri, devlet ve hükümetlerin yurttaşların hususi verilerine karşı yürüttüğü uygulamalar nedeniyle gitgide daha da bilinir hale geldi. Katmanlı gizlilik sağlayarak güvenlik seçeneği sunan TOR, son aylarda cinsel istismar haberleriyle gündeme gelir olmuştu. Son zamanlarda büyük değişim adımları atma niyetini ortaya koyan yönetim, dijital mahremiyet uzmanlarından oluşan kadrosu öncülüğünde, Temmuz 2016 itibariyle yeni yönetim kadrosuyla yoluna devam edeceğini ve bir takım köklü değişikliklere gidileceğini duyurdu.

Proje yönetim kadrosunda yapılan değişiklikler sonrasında, geçtiğimiz Aralık ayında yeni direktör olarak, 15 yıl boyunca Electronic Frontier Foundation yöneticiliği de yapmış olan Shari Steele atanmıştı. Bu atamanın nedeninin, TOR projesinin adının sıklıkla “dark web” denen ve hiçbir şekilde güvenlik taramasından geçmemiş içeriğe ulaşmada öne çıkan görünümünü değiştirmek olduğu öne sürülmüştü.

Jacob Appelbaum


Cinsel taciz iddiası istifa getirdi

Projede yer alan geliştiricilerden Jacob Appelbaum, TOR projesine olan katkıları ile tanınıyor ve bütün dünyada anonimlik çalışmaları alanındaki faaliyetleri nedeniyle takip ediliyordu. 2014 yılında Istanbul’da gerçekleştirilen Internet Yönetişim Forumu IGF’e de katılan Appelbaum, projeye dahil olan bir başka çalışanın anonim olarak paylaştığı cinsel taciz suçlamaları ve ardından başka çalışanların da ifadeleri nedeniyle istifasını vermek zorunda kaldı. Basında yer alan haberlere göre Appelbaum yıllar boyunca ‘uygunsuz cinsel  davranış’ ithamlarıyla karşılaşmış ve aklanmış, fakat geçtiğimiz yıl iki hafta süreyle taciz ve istismardan dolayı uzaklaştırma cezası almıştı. Appelbaum’un 2016 mayıs ayında istifası istenmişti.

Yeni yönetim kurulu

TOR Projesi ile ilgili olarak, Appelbaum skandalı sonrası girdiği çalkantılı dönemde, yedi üyesi bulunan yönetim kurulunun oybirliği ile koltuklarından terk ederek, yeni bir yönetimle ve taze fikirlerle yoluna devam etmesi kararı verilmişti. Operasyonel olarak yirminci yılına yaklaşan TOR, yeniliklere daha da açık olarak ilerleyecek.

Yeni yönetim kadrosunda yer almayan TOR kurucularından Roger Dingledine ve Nick Mathewson, teknik araştırma-geliştirme proje lideri olarak dahil olmaya devam edecekler. Yeni yönetim kurulunda ise  şu an için Pennsylvania Üniversitesinden profesör ve kriptolog Matt Blaze; Electronic Frontier Foundation’da Steele’ın ardından direktörlük yapan Cindy Cohn; güvenlik uzmanı kriptolog ve yazar Bruce Schneier; McGill Üniversitesi’nden antropolog ve çevrimiçi aktivizm uzmanı Gabriella Coleman; internet ve hususiyet aktivisti Linus Nordberg; ve İnsan Hakları Veri İnceleme Grubu direktörü Megan Price bulunuyor.

Yeni yönetim kurulu ayrıca Shari Steele’ın TOR projesinin adını temize çıkarma girişimlerinin de bir adımı olarak görülüyor. Halihazırda anonimlik karşıtı kampanyalarda sıklıkla TOR kullanan herkesin suçlu gibi gösterilmesi, yasadışı silah ticareti, uyuşturucu kaçakçılığı ve çocuk istismarı ile ilişkilendirilmesi gibi kötü üne sahip ithamların önünün kesilmesini ön görüyor.

Yakın zamanda ABD Hukuk Dairesinden hatalı olarak çarpıtılarak yayınlanmış bir veri, TOR üzerindeki trafiğin yüzde 80 oranında çocuk pornosu içerdiğini öne sürmüş, fakat daha sonra bunun başka bir hizmet olan Hidden Services araştırmasına dair olduğu ortaya çıkmıştı.

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Rainbow Colors Not Allowed in Istanbul Pride

The organized LGBTI movement in Turkey has been growing and gaining more recognition as a progressive force. Accordingly, its activities faced more repression.

(original: Katoikos)


Istanbul Pride does not have a very long history, yet it has recently become increasingly significant. In the year 2003, with the participation of roughly 30 people, a pride march was held; a decade later the number grew to over one hundred thousand. This year, as well as last year, this joyous and colourful celebration of the Pride Week was subject to police repression and violence.

The gradual opening up of Turkish society to differences had gained pace in the past decade and the LGBTI community had benefited from this too. When the mass protest movement ‘Occupy Gezi’ coincided with the Pride Week in 2013, there came an ocean of support for the LGBTI movement from almost all parts of the society, as well as more attention from hate-groups and the police forces. This was partly due to the overwhelming presence of the LGBTI groups during the occupy movement and their contribution to the protests, rhetorically, spiritually and physically.

The organic growth of the Pride Parade in Istanbul has been one of the most comprehensive movements, slowly gaining more and more presence in daily life and contributing to tolerance in society as a whole. LGBTI groups had declared that in the coming years the community in Turkey would push for full recognition of equal rights, including marriage and adoption; which made the movement more of a political entity and appeared in political declarations of parties during elections. As a result of this recognition, negative reactions also started emerging from the authorities and other political movements, in san increasingly repressive fashion.

The police used water cannons shooting against Pride participants. Yet this ‘intervention’ caused a rainbow to appear in Taksim Square.

Pride 2015 was celebrated with all colours of the rainbow all around the world, yet in Istanbul the police used water cannons, tear-gas and rubber bullets against the participants. The decision by the Istanbul governor to ban Pride Parade and the police assault signalled the attitude that would prevail towards progressive rallies and demonstrations in the current year too.

Prior to the Pride Week 2016, a far right group “Alperenler” (the Combatants) announced that they would not allow the march to take place, that the group had calculated all risks and would stop the march at all costs, calling the LGBTI individuals “immoral and honourless”.

Upon this statement, several transsexual sex-workers voiced their reaction saying “You call us immoral but what about you, our clients? If we were to announce your names, you would not even dare to show your face in public”. Then came another, milder statement from the far right groups saying they did not mean any harm, and only meant showing their democratic reaction to a march they did not consider ‘natural’. Only 11 people answered this call and showed up to intimidate the march.

We Are Dispersing

LGBTI organisations responded, “we had not asked for permission anyhow”. The Trans March took place on June 19th, and the police intervened as was expected. A week later, Pride Parade took place finalising the Pride Week events, with the motto “we are dispersing all around”, as reference to a police warning message the week before, which said “please disperse in order to return life to its normality”. Hence came the motto for Istanbul Pride 2016: “#WeAreDispersing”.

All streets leading up to Taksim Square and Istiklal Avenue were blocked and barricaded by the police to not allow the march to take place. The governor’s ban created an atmosphere of tension, and combined with the legislation allowing police to brutally intervene in any kind of peaceful protest, discouraged people from participating in one of the most colourful and peaceful demonstrations in the world.

At the end of the day, 19 people were detained, including the German Member of Parliament Volker Beck and the Member of the European Parliament Terry Reintke. During the police intervention, it is reported that an Italian reporter, Alberto Tetta, was approached by the police, was asked for his press card (issued by the Turkish state in order to cover news in the country), and was shouted at “if you report negatively on Turkey, I will shoot you”.

AKP campaign on LGBTI dating applications

Only last year, the governing AKP’s electoral pamphlet stated that they were welcoming all kinds of people from all parts of the society. The party even included in the pamphlet the LGBTI events in Turkey as a positive development, and had advertised on LGBTI dating applications to get votes. Until last year, there were even a lot of people saying “we have lived the most comfortable time of our lives, all during the time of AKP” not acknowledging the progress achieved globally and due to the hard work of the activists but merely regarding government as responsible for all developments.

A lot has changed since the June 2015 elections in Turkey: Thousands have been killed in anti-terror operations and hundreds of civilian houses have been raided. The government has announced that the ‘democratization package’ is no longer on the agenda, putting all disadvantaged groups at risk, be it Kurdish, Alevi, Romany, etc. LGBTI rights also seem to have followed the same path, like all other progressive reforms that the party had been carrying out for the past decade. Yet, the movement has proven its resilience and its will to attain full equal rights.



Posted in AKP, Far Right, Hate Speech, Istanbul, Protests, Turkey | Leave a comment

Whatsapp artık gerçekten daha güvenli mi?

Uçtan uca kriptolama özelliğini kullanıcılarına sunan ‘Whatsapp’, gözetim ve fişleme davalarının yoğunlukla görüldüğü bir dönemde kullanıcılarına gizlilik vaat ediyor. Peki, uygulama gerçekten de kullanıcılarına bahsettiği gizliliği sağlıyor mu?

(Orjinali Agos’ta)

Dünya çapında yoğun bir kullanıma sahip olan mobil mesajlaşma uygulaması ‘Whatsapp’, Mart ayı sonunda ‘yeniden’ uçtan uca kriptolama ile mesaj güvenliğini sağladığını açıklayan yeni bir güncelleme sundu. Yeni güncellemeyle, dünyadaki her yedi kişiden birinin kullandığı uygulamanın temeline hususiyet temel taş olarak yerleşmiş gibi görünüyor; ticari sırlardan, gizlilik sevdalılarına ve hatta belki özellikle de bilgi sızdıranlara kadar her kullanıcı için uçtan uca gizlilik artık bir seçenek değil, olağan. Daha önce de ‘Open Whisper Systems’ ile ‘TextSecure’ güncellemesi gerçekleştirdiğinde, 2014 yılında uçtan uca kriptolama özelliği bir kısım hizmet için getirilmişti. Peki gerçekten de dünya çapında bir milyardan fazla kullanıcıya hitap eden bir uygulama, ticari getirileri ikinci plana iterek, kullanıcılarına çok gecikmiş de olsa, gizliliği sunabilir mi?

Nasıl işliyor?

4 Nisan tarihinde yayınlanan bir açıklamada, Open Whisper Systems kullanılan ‘ikili bozunum’ sistemini açıklayarak karşılıklı olarak şifrelenen mesajların kırılması durumunda geçmişe dönük olarak mesajların güvenlik açığına maruz kalmayacağını bildirmişti. 256 bitlik anahtar özelliğiyle şifrelenen mesajlaşma ve konuşmalarda, güncelleme her iki tarafta da yüklendikten sonra artık mesajlaşmada alıcı ve vericiler haricinde hiç kimse içeriğe erişemeyecek. Bir kullanıcı ile iletişime geçmeden önce uygulamanızdaki kişi bilgilerine baktığınızda, bu kullanıcının henüz uygulama güncellemesini etkin olarak kullanıp kullanmadığını görebilirsiniz.

Güvenlik kodunu çalışır hale getirmek için, yapmanız gereken, görüşmek istediğiniz kişinin ‘Whatsapp’ üzerindeki hesabına göz atmak ve şifreleme özelliği sekmesini bulmak. Bu kişi ile fiziksel olarak birlikteyken, sekmeye girdiğinizde karşınıza çıkacak olan QR kodu ile karşılıklı olarak birbirinizin kodlarınızı tarattığınız takdirde artık güvenlik kodu aktif hale gelecektir. Her kullanıcı için özel olarak oluşturulan QR kodu ile onaylanan şifreleme özelliğinin aktif olduğu kullanıcılar ile yapacağınız herhangi bir iletişimin, uygulama tarafından uçtan uca kilitlenerek iletileceği ve gönderiyi alması gereken kişiler dışında kimsenin bu içeriğe erişemeyeceği söyleniyor. Kullanıcılardan birinin cihaz değiştirmesi durumunda geçerliliğini yitirecek olan güvenlik kodunu tekrar aktif hale getirmek için ise aynı işlemi tekrarlamak gerekiyor. Ayrıca, bir kullanıcının güvenlik kodunun değişmesi durumunda uyarı alma seçeneğini de işaretleyebiliyorsunuz.

Buna rağmen, güvenlik konusunda Whatsapp halen tam olarak güvenli olarak ilan edilmiş değil. Elektronik Cephe Vakfı’nın açıkladığı ‘Güvenli Mesajlaşma Tabelasında’ göre Whatsapp, iyileştirilmiş güvenlik ve gizlilik uygulamalarına rağmen yedi üzerinden altı puan almış durumda.

Gizlilikte çekinceler neler?

Gizliliğe dair getirilen yeniliklere rağmen, uygulamanın kullanıcı sözleşmesine göz atıldığında, bir madde dikkat çekiyor; “Whatsapp gönderimi tamamlanan mesajların ve mesajlarda bahsi geçen telefon numaralarına dair tarih ve zaman damgasını ve ayrıca yasal olarak toplama yükümlülüğü olan tüm diğer bilgileri saklama hakkını elinde tutar.” Her ne kadar Edward Snowden, ‘Open Whisper Systems’ tarafından sunulmuş tüm sistemlere güvenilirlik konusunda tasdik vermiş olsa da, bu maddeye göre, meta-data denen, biriktirilen verilerin uygulama sunucularından sızıntı olması ya da ‘hacklanmesi’ halinde ele geçirilmesi veya hükümetler tarafından talep edildiğinde verilmesi gibi durumlar gayet uygunsuz sonuçlar doğurabilir. Tanımlayıcı verilerle ilgili olarak daha önceden de uzun uzadıya tartışmalar sürmüş ve fakat nihai bir sonuç ortaya çıkmamıştı. Buna karşın en basitinden pazarlama amacıyla (özellikle de uygulamanın Facebook tarafından satın alınmış olduğunu düşününce) kullanılma ihtimali  üzerinde duran güvenlik odaklı kişiler, bu verilerin elde tutulmasına yine de güvensiz yaklaşıyorlar.

Uçtan uca kriptolama ve Whatsapp

2009 yılında mobil mesajlaşma platformu olarak ‘Whatsapp’ uygulamasıyla girişimciliğe adım atmış olan Jan Kaum, gizlilik ve güvenlik konusunda “her tür gözetime karşı hususiyetin korunması gerekir; belki devlete güvenmek isteyebilirsiniz ama güvenmemelisiniz çünkü gelecekte ne olacağını bilemezsiniz” açıklamasında bulunmuştu. Uygulamanın bir diğer kurucusu Brian Acton ile birlikte 2013 yılında ilk kriptolama çalışmalarına başlayan Kaum, hususiyet idealisti Marlinspike ile tanıştıktan sonra, gelişmelerde bir ivme kazanmış ve üst üste gelecek güvenlik adımlarının atılmasını ve son gelen güncellemenin de gerçekleşmesini mümkün kılmış. Acton, gizlilikle ilgili olarak “telefonun tarihi son yüzyıla dayanıyor, fakat insanlık geçmişine bakıldığında medeniyetin ilerlemesinin hususi ilişkiler ve konuşmalarla olduğunu görebiliriz; bu nedenle bireylere bunu geri getiriyoruz” diyor. Halihazırda var olan gizlilik odaklı uygulamalar vardı; bununla birlikte en yaygın ve yoğun kullanılan mesajlaşma uygulaması da artık kriptolama özelliğine kavuşmuş oldu.

Uygulama artık kişilerin mesajlarını kendi sunucularında tutmayacak olsa bile, yazılı iletişimde istihbarat servislerinin daktiloya geri dönüşünü ve son haftalarda gündemi oldukça meşgul eden FBI-Apple davasının nasıl sonuçlandığını hatırlayınca herhangi bir dijital verinin güvenliğinin ne kadar sağlanabileceğini sorgulamamak elde değil. Fakat ABD hükümetinin Apple davasındaki ısrarcı tavrı düşünülecek olursa, dünyadaki en büyük mobil iletişim ağının da kriptolama uygulamaları yakın zamanda ya daha fazla dava ya da daha fazla kripto-kırıcı uzmanı kendine çekecek gibi görünüyor.

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CfA: Media Bar Camp “Art and Transformation”

The IX international MediaBarCamp 26 — 29 May 2016 Lithuania

The 9th international MediaBarCamp 2016 (MBC2016) is a unique social media non-conference event, that will take place on 26-29 May, 2016 in Lithuania and will bring together activists from Belarus and all around the world – from Cuba to Azerbaijan, from Sweden to Egypt. The organisers of the event are the Swedish International Liberal Centre (SILC) in cooperation with local partners in Belarus and Sweden.

MediaBarCamp 2016 is an open space participant-driven non-conference where the agenda of the event is initiated and determined by participants themselves.

The main GOAL of MediaBarCamp 2016 is to stimulate media activism and new media projects, to promote use of social networks and possibilities provided by the Internet. MBC2016 also aims to coordinate already existing initiatives in participant’s countries as well as to develop contacts within active international youth society.

The MBC2016 topic is ART & TRANSFORMATION. Is art powerful enough to make any changes in society? Can artist or creator’s vision on certain topics build a bridge between society and those who are in power? Has the creator more courage to talk about the things we need to discuss? Maybe it is a hidden potential of art? There are many NGOs, civil society and cultural actors that actually are actively engaged in local politics (and/or policies) with the aim of influencing political decision-making. In other words — they actually do politics. At the same time, there are many political organisations and institutions that are supposed to do politics, but actually rely on civic activism. Art is an articulation of own position by creative tools. This is what unites art and civic life. Therefore, let’s meet and talk about the means of influence and power of creativity!

Bloggers, media and political activists, collective online project developers, innovative ideas developers, social entrepreneurships, active citizens and cultural activists that stand for freedom of speech and expression, representatives of socio-cultural projects that use media as a channel of communication with their audience

A reference to the Call for Applications for MediaBarCamp 2016 on your website with an active hyperlink to http://mediabarcamp.com/ (banners can be found on MediaBarCamp webpage). Posts in social networks are welcome, but are not sufficient.

One presentation for one participant. If you have a big project and you are ready to send 2 (two) persons, you need to prepare one presentation for each participant.

Prepare and share (20 PechaKucha format slides for one presentation) and give your presentation. See below for PechaKucha information. Presentation slides must be in English. However, you are welcome to give your presentation in another language if you feel like to.

The project description in the application form has to be provided in English. Please include a topic and a short description (min 300 characters). It will be used for online voting to select the best presentations, which will be guaranteed a time-slot in the MediaBarCamp 2016 programme

Full 4 days participation (2 days MBC2016 and 2 days for arrival/departure)is required

ONLINE APPLICATION FORM: http://mediabarcamp.com/registration/ — will be open since 2016-03-10.

18 APRIL, 2016 – final closing date for application (both for applicants with and without visas). However, we kindly remind you to apply as early as possible.

In order to assure that all participants have enough space and time for their presentations, we will arrange a PechaKucha night – the art of concise presentations. PechaKucha 20×20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images.(for more information: http://www.pechakucha.org/)

You can apply without your final presentation. However, in the application form you have to provide and share 20 prepared slides in PechaKucha format and a short description of the presentation in English.

We will organize an open and fair early voting among the participants of MBC2016 to vote and choose the presentations which will be granted a place in the MBC2016 schedule in advance

MediaBarCamp is not a commercial event

Participation is FREE OF CHARGE. The organisers cover all the participant’s logistics, visa and accommodation expenses

The venue (at least 4 conference rooms) will be equipped with Wi-Fi, projectors, sound equipment

Interpretation assistance to/from English and Russian languages will be provided by volunteer interpreters

Travel reimbursement will be provided for the cheapest tickets (2d class train or bus). There will be no reimbursement for travel by cars or flights Minsk ↔ Vilnius.

Your arrival to the central railway station in Vilnius shall be planned before 12:00 on the 26May and departure not earlier than 17:00 on the 29May. Please be attentive and check the time when buying the tickets. The event will take place outside Vilnius. The transfer will be arranged at once for all participants. There is no other connection with the venue.

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Call for International Academic Observers to the Trial against the “Academics for Peace”, Istanbul, 22nd April 2016

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Since March 2016, four of our colleagues – Professors Esra Mungan Gürsoy, Meral Camcı, Kıvanç Ersoy and Muzaffer Kaya – are being held in pre-trial detention, accused of terrorist propaganda under Article 7/2 of Anti-Terrorism Law.
The official indictment refers to the original petition “We will not be a party to this crime” of 11th January 2016 as well as a press statement which the four read out on 10th March 2016. This press statement was delivered by Academics for Peace Istanbul to draw attention to the extent of the repressions which have unraveled against the signees since the original petition, especially to the disciplinary investigations, dismissals, forced resignations and the legal prosecutions. Now, they are facing a sentence from 1,5 to 7,5 years imprisonment.
While there is a chance that our colleagues could be released out of imprisonment in this first hearing, which would set a sign for the rest of the trial, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan most recently declared that our colleagues should “remain in prison throughout the trial” because they were “guilty”.
But, Demanding Peace is no Crime!
On 22nd April 2016, not only our four colleagues are on trial, but freedom of expression in Turkey as such! For, the trial against journalists Erdem Gül and Can Dündar has been scheduled for the same date. We stand in solidarity with all those raising their voices for peace and democracy because we, too, share the same dream and demand!
We, therefore, call for international observers to the first hearing on 22nd April, 2016 before the 13th High Criminal Court, Çağlayan Courthouse, Istanbul at 2:00 PM. Your presence in court will not only give a strong sign of support for peace, democracy, and freedom of expression in Turkey, but will also have a positive effect on the fairness of the trial.
In Solidarity,
Contact: info@barisicinakademisyenler.net


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Turkey Drafts ‘Academic Terrorism’ Regulation

Turkish government had declared academics, who have announced their opinion contrary to security policies of the government, as “traitors who should be declared as terrorists without weapons” and started acting on presumptions to intimidate, detain and arrest them. Just recently three academics had been arrested for terrorism charges while dozens of others are still under investigation and hundreds are subjected to even more serious threats. The fact that Turkish universities are subjected to Higher Education Authority (YOK), and do not have absolute autonomy makes it difficult for academics in uttering their opinions. Yet, since there were no crimes listed earlier in the penal code, the academics facing investigation could not be put on trial easily. With the new additional regulations to Higher Education Law, the legal framework for putting academics on the “felon’s dock” becomes much easier.

The government has quickly drafted a new bill to suppress academic freedoms that allow critical scholars to announce their thoughts that are contrary to government policies. According to the new draft bill, any academic that gets involved with “activities that have separatist claims or terror activities, or acts in support of this” would be kicked out of universities and lose public offices.

According to the new bill, these are the new regulations:

-An update to Higher Education Law that previously foresaw “warning, condemnation, temporary loss of wage, stopping promotion” now also includes losing academic title, dismissal from work, dismissal from public office”.

-Academics who get involved with separatist claims or terror activities or those who get involved with ideological or political actions, or supporting such actions will lose their public office.

-Apart from political activities, involvement with boycott, occupy, slowdown strike, strike, stopping public works that would disturb institutional tranquility, peace and work atmosphere, would result in losing employment.

-Against political works at universities, YOK president is now authorized to start investigation, YOK Disciplinary Board has authority to give punishment, university disciplinary boards have authority to dismiss one from work and from public office.

-Crimes of political involvement include crimes of political and ideological petition, propagating for political parties; discrimination based on language, race, color, gender, political thoughts, philosophical belief, religion and sect, attain personal interest, act on political and ideological reasons.

The new regulation has not left the retired academics, who had signed the peace petition that initiated the latest stir in Turkish judiciary. The academics who have retired or ended their academic work for any other reason will have a mark in their personal files, and their punishments will be given if they go back to work or start working for foundation (private) universities.

Posted in academic freedom, AKP, Turkey | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments