Assailants of Turkish Journalist Change Statements, 3 of 4 Get Freed

A prominent Turkish anchorman of the critical news network CNNTurk and columnist for critical daily newspaper Hurriyet, Ahmet Hakan had been subjected to a brutal attack by four men recently. The assailants had then quickly been caught and taken to Directorate of Combat with Organized Crime where the investigation was to be carried out and their statements to be taken separately. The four men had given similar statements as confession that they had been offered 100.000 TL (~$35.000), and the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and the “Chief” is also involved in the situation.

Raids against Media

The whistleblower from President Erdoğan’s circle “Fuat Avni” had spoken of raids against the critical news networks in the month of August, and several newspaper headquarters had been raided by police, and on September 5th, Hurriyet Daily’s HQ building was raided by an angry mob which seemed to have been coordinated and organized by an MP of the governing AK Party. The attack against Ahmet Hakan came in the aftermath of this raid, and several other Doğan Media journalists have been threatened openly even during live broadcast through social media messages.

Massive Payment Promised in Return for Attack against Journalist

One of the assailants, K.E. has stated that they were offered 100.000 TL in order to carry out the attack; and the cross-examination of the statements have revealed the planned assault as to how the assailants carried out close examination and surveillance prior to the attack and how they followed the journalist back home.

The assailants have now been released except for one who is now under arrest; and all of them have changed their statements after they have been taken to the court house of Istanbul and met the prosecutor.

One of the assailants’ statement reveals that they have been taken to a disclosed location and someone who introduced himself as the district chairperson told them that there is a problem with the journalist Ahmet Hakan and he needs to be beaten, the 100.000 TL promised would be arranged through the Ottoman Organization district directorate by someone named Nezir.

The assailants claim that they were under drug influence in time of the negotiation and that’s why they had accepted the offer; and they also stated that they were promised immunity and no-investigation as the request has come from the state but would only realize the gravity of the issue once taken to Directorate of Combat with Organized Crime.

K.E. also stated that they have been deceived and were subjected to a conspiracy and would file legal complaint about a retired special-ops officer called Y.K.G. who has given them the orders and given false legal information.

New-Deep State Involvement?

According to the statements from the assailants, Y.K.G. who owns a cafe in Fatih district of Istanbul invited them and gave the orders there. He told them that Ahmet Hakan says “dead” rather than “martyr” for soldiers, and he supports HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) and provokes people. He added “the secret service is in this, whole security department is in this, the Chief is in this. In the next two days you are to finish this and the package will arrive.”

The assailants tell the night of the event as follows, “on the night of 30th, YKG was angry as we could not carry out the orders, then he told us that Ahmet Hakan’s program ends at 8:30pm. We went to the back-exit and followed his car until his street. When his car stopped, we crushed slowly and he came out of the car after his bodyguard and driver. The bodyguard was warded off by one of us and when we finished we went back to Y.K.G.”

The journalist appears with purple eyes in the aftermath of the attack in hospital

One of the assailants U.A. tells in his statement that they “met with someone named N.Ö. at Y.K.G.’s cafe and he told them that the Ottoman Organization (pro-AK Party far right youth assembly) would be much better than the Nationalist Movement Party (Far Right political party in the parliament with the abbreviation MHP). Upon following Ahmet Hakan with a car, the aim was to start a fight after a minor traffic accident. Once outside of the car, he made a run for his house, fell down and then upon second attempt to run he was caught and pushed to fall again.”

“After getting caught, in detention room we decided to tell them that we got into a fight after a traffic accident, then we were transferred to Organized Crime. We were told that he is a traitor and we were doing this for the state, in the name of security.”

According to cross-examined statements, Ahmet Hakan was requested to be beaten in such a way that he would be unable to hold a pen and write again; and the Y.K.G. would talk of him as the traitor who provokes for violence. And the assailants were promised that they would receive a hero’s welcome by the security forces, justice, people and everyone as well as the promised sum of money.

Ahmet Hakan’s lawyer Aslı Kazan Gilmore commented on the change of statements in the courthouse and said “the assailants have given consistent statements regarding who requested them to do what and how much was promised, and it all is in coherence with what seems to have happened; however the investigation at the courthouse seems to have changed a few things alongside the statements given. Now the assailants deny their statements; the aim is to hide those who are behind this attack.”

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New Social Media Rules & Restrictions for Turkish Students

Turkish educational system suffers yet another blow; after last year’s signaling of a life style indoctrination by President Erdoğan, this year new rules and regulations update seems to target the students’ future experiences and uses of free speech and questioning capacity. President Erdoğan had said “We have a problem with certain things, still. Thus we will tackle those problematic feelings by presenting [children with] a life style, starting from as early as kindergarten onward.”

He had been talking about how the educational system was working in favor of “traitors” thus this was an open call for educational experts to work on new precautions to stop treason. The new rules and regulations that all children at school between the ages of 7 and 18 are subjected to now are as follows:

-“National Values” is a recognized criteria that requires all pupils to comply with national and spiritual values; as well as present behaviors that follow general morality and customs. Failure in compliance results in expulsion from school

-Separatist, destructive, immoral, pro-violence content in the form of audio, textual, visual, video material will bring ultimate expulsion from school and the pupil will not be accepted back to schools any more.

-Students will only be allowed to miss 30 school days throughout the year; those who wish to become hafiz will not be required to comply with the 30 day limit.

-Students who indulge in IT tools without the knowledge and control of the teacher will get disciplinary punishment.

-Students who pester classmates through social media will get ultimate expulsion from school.

-Students who share visual material that is shot at school, will be sent to disciplinary board.

In December 2014 President Erdoğan had accused the educational system of training individuals who are departing from their mother tongue and are ashamed of their society and culture; defined this as a national problem of training and discipline. After the national elections on June 7, 2015, the opposition parties all demanded to take ministry of education to reverse the harm done during the single party rule of AKP in the past 13 years, regarding the curricula and rules & regulations that are applied to children. The current system of national education in Turkey dictates a way of life and ideology.

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Freedom of expression charities urge UK Foreign Secretary to speak out on Turkey’s arrest of journalists

(1 September 2015) Freedom of expression charities have written to UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond urging the UK to speak out publicly in defence of freedom of expression following the arrest of two British journalists in Turkey under terror legislation.

The journalists and their fixer were were formally charged by a Turkish court on Monday with ‘aiding a terrorist organisation’. Vice News has described the charges as completely baseless.

The letter from PEN International, English PEN and Index on Censorship highlights the deteriorating situation for media in Turkey and urges Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to speak out publicly against the arrests.

“Coming shortly after the equally unjust sentencing of Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt, we would note also the worrying increase in the use of terror laws to stifle a free and independent media globally and hope the UK will use its international position to help reverse this disturbing trend,” the groups say in the letter.

The groups have also written to the Council of Europe, of which Turkey and the UK are members, to express their concerns.

A copy of the letter can be found below.

Dear Mr Hammond,

We are writing to you on behalf of Index on Censorship, English PEN and PEN International, charities that campaign for freedom of expression in the UK and globally, to urge the immediate intervention of the British government in the case of three VICE News journalists, including two Britons, who have been charged with terror offences by the Turkish government.

The two British reporters, VICE News journalists Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, along with their fixer, were formally charged by a Turkish court on Monday with ‘aiding a terrorist organisation’. We believe these charges to be baseless.

The three were detained by police with a fourth member of their team as they filmed in the south-east region of Diyarbakir on Thursday.  Police interrogated them about alleged links to Islamic State and Kurdish militants.

You will be aware that the Turkish government’s routine use of counter-terrorism charges against journalists is a longstanding cause of concern for international human rights organisations and for the media in Turkey. There are rising fears that Turkey is on the brink of a new media crackdown in the run up to the parliamentary elections: Turkish police conducted a raid on the offices of Koza Koza Ipek Media group today, while an Ankara court has ruled in favour of a general search warrant for the Çankaya district of the Turkish capital (where embassies and foreign missions are based) allowing police to make preventative security searches and detentions for 30 days.

We recognise that Turkey is facing a period of heightened tension in the region. However at such a time it is more important than ever that both domestic and international journalists are allowed to do their vital work without intimidation, reporting on matters of global interest and concern.

A member of the Council of Europe, Turkey is a state party to both the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It is therefore obliged to respect the right to freedom of expression and ensure that journalists are free to gather information without hindrance or threat.

We appreciate the Foreign Office’s  consular assistance to the VICE News team and urge you to make a public statement in defence of freedom of expression in Turkey.

Coming shortly after the equally unjust sentencing of Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt, we would note also the worrying increase in the use of terror laws to stifle a free and independent media globally and hope the UK will use its international position to help reverse this disturbing trend.

Yours sincerely,

Carles Torner

Executive Director, PEN International

Jodie Ginsberg

Chief Executive, Index on Censorship

Maureen Freely

President, English PEN

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Turkey’s Digital Crackdown on Media, Censors Hundreds of News Sites

Turkey recently started a new digital crackdown on critical and independent media. However, Turkish government has been involved in ‘online security’ policies as far back as 2007 with the law numbered 5651, Law Regulating Digital Publications which has very quickly expanded from its original aim and started targeting political dissent and criticism. The law originally had been designed to punish those involved in child pornography, yet was later expanded to also protect national symbols at the first draft.

sansuresansurOver the years, the law numbered 5651 has experienced several revisions which always made the law even worse than it has been. The original version of the law foresaw a child-protective, mature content filter that would be compulsory for all users and everyone would have to pay extra for this “service” by the state. An estimated number of more than 90.000 websites have been blocked due to this law and many keep getting added on a daily basis. Turkey still is by far the worst country in filing content removal requests from world internet giants such as Twitter, Google and Facebook.

Since the general elections that ended 13-year-governing AK Party’s single-party rule on June 8th, the government has started military operations against own citizens. So far death toll is countable by hundreds, and independent/critical media platforms are being subjected to censorship due to government intentions to control flow of information. Over a hundred news agency and newspaper websites have been closed down by government’s telecommunications authority and decision of Gölbaşı courts in Ankara. The court mandates blocking access to websites do not even mention a reason of the decision. However, due to latest update of the law numbered 5651, based on the article 8, the prime minister may request blocking access to a website due to national security reasons, and there is no further questioning necessary for the court.

The websites that are blocked appear with a line stating that it is a precaution against further escalation of violence; making up a new category of ‘preemptive censorship’ in the thick book of repressing media in the country. Majority of the censored media platforms have been quite active in the regions where military operations are taking place.

Even though the officials of the censored media platforms apply to courts demanding a reason for blocking of access, they return without any answers. Experts state that this proves a violation of the constitutional rights of citizens as well as international agreements, of which Turkey is a part.

Currently thousands of online platforms that have political criticism are officially banned in Turkey, yet many users circumvent the censorship mechanisms, thus reaching the sites. Yet, government’s plans seem to go a step further nowadays. In the past few weeks, when the military operations in the Kurdish dominated southeast have been at its highest, phone lines and internet access as a whole has been shut down and the cities lost communication with the world. When news finally reached out of the city borders, bodies were being counted and photos of ruined districts were revealed as well as short videos of journalists getting harassed by special forces personnel.


(Turkey’s policies regarding internet freedom approach is somewhat similar to this depiction in the video)


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2.899 Libraries Closed Down in Turkey in 2014

Turkish Statistics Institute has declared numbers on reading materials and libraries for the year 2014, and the numbers do not look bright. According to the statistics, 2.899 in Turkey have been closed down in the year 2014 and number of books available in the country has seen a decrease of 10.9% in the same year. This is the first time a statistical data has been made public by the institute regarding the number of libraries in the country, and the report encompasses schools, private schools, tutoring houses that are required to have libraries. Currently there are 27.948 libraries in Turkey for a population of 77 million. Among the nation, only 1.209.948 people have membership for a library.

In Turkey there is one national library, 1.121 public libraries, 559 university libraries, and 27.948 school & education institute libraries, making up to a total of 29.629. Among these libraries, the National Library has increased number of books by 12.8% compared to the previous year, and other materials by 4.8%.

University libraries have reached the number of 559 in 2014, with a 4.9% increased compared to the previous year. Number of books available in university libraries has seen a 7.1% increase reaching 14.5 million books available. There are 33.6% more university library members compared to 2013, which makes a total number of almost 4 million people.

Controversies in Public Library Statistics

One of the 10 Mobile Libraries traveling across Turkey

Public libraries across the country have increased by 0.3% and reached the number 1.121 with an increase of 6.3% more books available, making up the total number of books available 17 million. Membership numbers -although very low- has shown an increase of 17.9% making up total number of library members as 1.2 million. The estimate number of people making use of public libraries has increased by 2.7% and 20 million people are thought to have benefited from public libraries in the year 2014.

Before state’s National Statistical Institute has declared the numbers, the national library association used to declare number of libraries and books available; according to those numbers there used to be 1.367 public libraries across the country in 2004, and by the end of 2012 this number had dropped to 1.112. Yet the numbers declared by state show 1.121 as of 2015 with a supposed increase of 0.3% compared to 2013. In the same manner, the number of library-goers have seem to not changed much compared to 2005 (~20 million then and now), even though there is now about 10% bigger population.

The government between 2001 and 2011 has followed a policy of handing over management of public libraries to local municipalities without extra funding. The municipalities which already had been suffering major economic problems, could not possibly go through with sustaining the libraries thus left the institutions to their destiny. As a result, over a decade 321 libraries had to close down and the number of library-goers did not increase really. Combined with the thousands of books and websites still banned in Turkey, the approach to libraries and public’s access to information seems controversial.

Another significant number to be reminded, connected this topic is the result of another statistical data supplied by the same institution; ratio of regular readers in Turkey is only 0.01% compared to EU’s 21%, and an average Turkish person only spares 6 hours per year for reading, and the budget allocated to books per capita is ~2$ a year.

Istanbul Modern, book installation

Istanbul Modern, book installation

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Suruc Suicide Bomber Trained by ISIS in Syria

The deadly suicide bombing on July 20th in Suruç, Turkey which left 32 young activists dead and dozens of others severely wounded has shaken the country. The moment of explosion was captured on camera, and in the aftermath forensics investigation began. The bomber’s identity has now been confirmed to be the 20 year old Mechanical Engineering student at Adıyaman University, Seyh Abdurrahman Alagoz who had disappeared with his brother Yunus Emre Alagoz in 2014.

The two brothers had been on the “wanted list” with high suspicion of terrorist activities since their father had filed a complaint in November 2014. The two brothers allegedly left their hometown Adıyaman for Gaziantep and later for Kilis from where they set out for a training camp in Syria. After the training camp in Syria, they illegally entered back to Turkey and visited their home without getting caught twice. It has also been figured out that the brothers went to Syria at the same time as Orhan Gonder who had carried out a bombing attack in Diyarbakır 2 days before the 2015 general elections at a HDP rally.

23 Suicide Bombers on Wanted Lists


Alagoz, suicide bomber of Suruc

18 families in total in Adıyaman have filed complaints and reported that their children have joined ISIS. A total of 23 names remain in “wanted for possible terrorist activities” list of the Turkish police forces.

The suicide bomber Abdurrahman Alagoz is also reported to having been detained by the police earlier and then released even though his name appeared on the wanted list. HDP member of the parliament for the city of Kars stated that there are several local sources confirming this detention and possible camera footage and there will be an investigation. The Diyarbakır bomber had also been detained and released by the police prior to the bloody attacks.

In another note the city of Adıyaman appears to be known for infamous bombers. The city of 250.000 inhabitants comprises of Turkish, Kurdish, Sunni and Alevi peoples, with high level of conservative life style. In the most recent elections Adıyaman’s 5 representatives have been divided into long-time governing islamist AKP (4) and the pro-Kurdish socialist party HDP (1). The multiethnic and multireligious city has mostly been peaceful until recent years’ “tagging” of Alevi houses.

Islam Tea House: Frequent Address of Bombers

Islam Tea House, now converted to ad-agency (Photo by DHA)

In the city of Adıyaman the Alagoz brothers had opened a tea house named “Islam” which was frequently visited by both Diyarbakır and Suruç bombers. According to Daily Cumhuriyet’s report, the tea house later was closed down after 3 months of service, by the municipality and police for lack of official papers, and now the building is being used as an advertising agency. Witnesses say that usually around 50 people would visit the tea-house and police would surveil on the vicinity 7/24.

When the tea house was first opened, local shop owners filed complaints out of suspicion and the tea house was raided, upon which the owners protested saying “we live in a Muslim majority country, is it illegal to grow beard.”

Neighboring shop owners also stated that during the deadly October 6-7 clashes, tea house stayed closed for several days and it has been reported that the people hanging out there would say they were going to Kobane to join ISIS forces. They have been saying that mostly young people in their 20s would visit the tea house and families of the disappeared children would come to seek a clue regarding whereabouts of their sons.

Main opposition party CHP’s Adıyaman chairperson stated that they will file a report on the disappeared children and ISIS recruitments in the city. CHP representative states that there are rumors of 300 people joining ISIS from the city of Adıyaman.

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“Kill LGBTI Persons” Read the Posters of Young Islamic Defense in Ankara

Istanbul’s LGBTI parade during the ‘Pride Week 2015’ had earlier been declared unlawful by the Istanbul Governor. The reason being pride and Islamic holy month of Ramadan’s coinciding with each other. Governor’s declaration outlawing the pride combined with excessive police violence against the pride-goers, added more flames to already homophobic assessment of the mainstream pro-government media and resulted in boosting of prejudices and homophobia even further in the society.

The reason for the sudden ban was stated to be the parade’s coinciding with the holy month of Ramadan. This statement declares a division between the faithful, moral Muslims, and the member and/or supporter of the LGBTI groups, and defines the two camps as two naturally conflicting identities that cannot coexist. Therefore the statement strengthens the preconceived idea of these two identities as two distinct groups and leads to increased tensions between the two groups. The religious reasoning behind the ban has brought about discussions about the “people of Loot”, a tribe that was wiped out by Allah in Islamic belief, due to their practice of homosexuality.

Only a week after the events that took place in Istanbul –police intervention to pride-, Ankara-based ‘Young Islamic Defense’ group hang posters all over the capital, with the following Hadith passage: “Whoever you find doing the deed of the people of Loot, kill them.”. This open call for massacre and hate crime is directly targeting the members of the LGBTI groups in Turkey, as the poster has a photo from the previous week’s parade in its background.

The group has also posted a manifestation on their website which declares the LGBTI members to be remnants of the Loot tribe that need to be destroyed; therefore encouraging various kinds of hate crimes by justifying them on the grounds of religion.

Even though homosexuality is not conceived as a crime in Turkey, it is not recognized or even referred to, in the laws. In addition, general public awareness of and tolerance towards the LGBTI movement in Turkey is not very high. The state’s own interruption against the movement legitimizes these negative views held by the public and provides a freer environment for hate speeches, while turning the members of LGBTI all the more vulnerable against the actions that may result from this atmosphere charged with hate and intolerance.

Written by,

Gökçe Sandal

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İzlandalı ‘Korsanlar’, Dine Hakaret Yasası’nı kaldırdı

Uluslararası kuruluşların tavsiyesi üzerine gündeme gelen dine hakaret yasaları, İzlanda’da iptal edildi. Önerge Korsan Parti İzlanda’dan geldi.

(Orjinali AGOS’ta)

2006 yılında İsveç’te dijital haklar ve hürriyetler için, telif karşıtı bir hareket olarak doğan ve Türkiye dahil pek çok ülkeye yayılan Korsan Parti’nin bir önergesi, ilk defa ifade hürriyeti alanında bir mecliste kabul edildi.

63 sandalyeli İzlanda meclisinde 3 temsilci ile yer alan Korsan Parti’den vekil Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, 2015 Ocak ayında verdiği bir önerge ile İzlanda Ceza Yasası’ndaki “Dine Hakaret” ile ilgili düzenlemelerin iptalini istemişti. Önergeye aynı zamanda İzlanda başbakanı Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson ve İzlanda Luther Kilisesi Piskoposu Agnes Sigurðardóttir destek vererek, yeni bir yoruma olan ihtiyacı dile getirmişlerdi. Önergede, dine hakaret konusunun ele alınacağı bir komisyon çalışması ve sonrasında mecliste bir oylama talebinde bulunmuştu.

3 vekilin katılmadığı oylamada 60 milletvekilinden yalnızca bir kişi hayır oyu kullandı. Karar için yalnızca siyasi partilerden değil, aynı zamanda sivil toplumdan da büyük destek geldi. İzlanda Etik Hümanist Birliği (Sidmennt), İzlanda Piskoposu, İzlanda Papazlığı, Yayıncılar Birliği, PEN İzlanda, Uluslararası Modern Medya Enstitüsü IMMI, ve ateistler grubu Vantru gibi birçok sivil toplum kuruluşu ve dini kurum da tasarıya desteklerini açıklamıştı.

Badawi’ye destek

İzlanda’da yapılan bu yasa değişikliği hem Charlie Hebdo saldırılarına bir karşı çıkış, hem de Suudi Arabistan’da 1.000 kırbaç ve 10 yıl hapis cezasına çarptırılan liberal blogger Raif Badawi için yürütülen kampanyaya destek olarak görülüyor.

Luther Protestan Hristiyanlığını ‘ulusal din’ olarak ilan etmiş olan İzlanda’da, ülkede faaliyet yürüten herhangi bir dine hakaret eden kişilere 3 aya kadar hapis cezası öngörülüyordu. İfade hürriyeti kapsamında dine, dini geleneklere ve sembollere hakaret ülkede ceza gerektiren bir suç olmamakla birlikte, İzlanda’da nefret söylemi yasası halen bireylerin ya da bir grubun dili, cinsiyeti, ırkı, etnik kökeni, dini inancı ya da inançsızlığı nedeniyle hedef gösterilmesine karşı koruma sağlıyor.

46 ülkede bulunuyor

Bir kısmı yüzyıllar öncesinden gelen “dine hakaret yasaları”, İrlanda, İtalya, Fransa, Almanya, İsviçre, Finlandiya, Danimarka, Yunanistan ve Polonya gibi ülkelerde fiili olarak uygulanmasa da hukuktaki yerini koruyor. Dünyadaki 208 ülkenin 46 tanesinde dine hakaret yasası bulunuyor, bunların 9 tanesinde ceza olarak idam, Türkiye’nin de aralarında bulunduğu 30’dan fazla ülkede ise hapis cezası öngörülüyor.

Bu ülkelerin çoğunda cezalar uygulanmasa da, Avrupa Güvenlik ve İşbirliği Teşkilatı (AGİT), Avrupa Konseyi ve Avrupa Konseyi Venedik Komisyonu gibi uluslararası kuruluşlar, özellikle de Paris’te gerçekleşen kanlı Charlie Hebdo saldırıları sonrası, ifade hürriyeti sınırlarının genişletilmesi için dine hakaret yasalarının kaldırılması çağrısında bulunmaya başlamıştı.

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Avrupa, manzara fotoğraflarını yasaklamayı tartışacak

Belçika’daki yasalar nedeniyle, ‘Atomium’ heykelinin önünde çekilen bir fotoğraf, kamusal alanda paylaşıldığı zaman karartılıyor.

(Orjinali AGOS’ta)

9 Temmuz tarihinde Avrupa Parlamentosu’nda tartışılacak yeni bir düzenleme ile Avrupa çapında manzara ve kültürel eserlerin fotoğraflarının paylaşımına yasak getirilebilir.

Avrupa Parlamentosu’nda Korsan Parti öncülüğünde başlatılan tartışmalar sonucu telif yasaları, dijital haklar ve hürriyetler meseleleri diğer tüm partilerin de gündemine girmiş ve tartışmalara yeni boyutlar kazandırmıştı. Her ne kadar telif konusunda bir özgürleşme henüz tam manasıyla sağlanamamış olsa da, telif savunucuları çıtayı yükseltmeye karar vermişe benziyor. Daha önce, serbest dolaşıma girmesi gereken bilgi, edebi eserler, müzik eserleri gibi birçok alanda telif temsilcilerine karşı başarılı kampanya yürüten fikir hürriyeti savunucularına karşı, şimdi de turizm alanında yeni bir kısıtlama getirilebilir.

Korsan Parti Almanya’dan Avrupa Parlamentosu’na seçilen Julia Reda’nın verdiği yasa teklifiyle Avrupa’da manzara haklarına dair düzenlemelerin standartlaşması ve tüm üye ülkelerde özgürleştirilmesi öngörülüyordu. Bununla birlikte, gelinen son noktada tartışma çok daha başka bir yöne gidiyor gibi görünüyor.

9 Temmuz tarihinde Avrupa Parlamentosu, turistik bölgelerin ve ulusal sembol değeri taşıyan alanların görüntülerinin dijital paylaşımına kısıtlama getirecek yeni bir düzenlemeyi görüşecek. Düzenleme, görüntüsünün telif hakkı alınmış kent ya da doğa alanlarının fotoğraflarının paylaşımına engelliyor ve muhtemel cezalar getiriyor. Turist olarak yola çıkıp, Parthenon, Big Ben ya da Eiffel kulesi gibi dünyaca ünlü yapıların önünde bir fotoğraf çekilip bunu profil fotoğrafı yaptığınızda bu yeni düzenlemeye göre telif yasasını ihlal etmiş olacaksınız.

‘Panorama özgürlüğü”

“Panorama özgürlüğü” ya da “manzara özgürlüğü” denen ağ sayesinde çevrenin tümden çekimi şu an için İngiltere, Almanya, İsveç, İspanya, İrlanda ve Polonya’da serbestken; Norveç ve Finlandiya’da panoramaya heykel gibi bir sanat eseri girmesi durumunda izne tabi. Benzer bir şekilde Avrupa’nın kalanında da sanat eserleri ve koruma altındaki bölgelerin fotoğrafları ticari olmayan hallerde çekimine kısmî olarak izin veriliyor. Fakat yeni görüşülecek olan düzenleme Avrupa çapında bir şemsiye yasanın önünü açarak tüm bu bölgesel farklılıkları birleştirip, kültürel alan ve eserlerin fotoğraflanmasını tümden yasak hale getirebilme riski taşıyor. Böyle bir yasanın geçmesi durumunda Belçika’daki yasalar gereği Atomium’un fotoğrafları her nasıl ki internet üzerinde karartılıyorsa, diğer eser ve manzaralar da karartmaya maruz kalabilir.

Manzara görüntülerinin engellenmesi, ticari amaçla çekilen fotoğraflara karşı alınmış bir önlem olarak öne çıkıyor. Fakat günümüz sosyal medyasında, fotoğraflarınızı yüklediğiniz mecralar sizin haberiniz olmadan fotoğraflarınızı reklam amaçlı olarak kullandığı göz önünde bulundurulursa, bu bir sorun teşkil edebilir. Avrupa’da geçirdiğiniz en keyifli anlarınızda, yıllar boyu hayalini kurduğunuz kentin en sembolik manzarasında çekeceğiniz bir fotoğraf başınıza bu yeni düzenleme sayesinde büyük dertler açabilir.

Mobil iletişim çağında akıllı telefonların, mini kameraların, gözlük kayıt cihazlarının ve diğer teçhizatın çekim yapmasını engellemek her ne kadar imkansız görünüyorsa da, dijital gözetim ve fişleme alanında bir girişime imza atma ihtimali olabilecek bu düzenleme büyük bir risk oluşturuyor. Sansür ve gözetim konusunda eline su dökülmeyecek ülkelerin yönetmeliklerine kıyasla çok daha üstü kapalı ve zararsız görünen bu tür yönetmelikler, bariz yasakları getirmekten imtina eden batı yönetimlerinin de benzer uygulamaları telif ile nasıl yürüttüğünü gösteriyor. Bireysel hak ve hürriyetlerin önündeki engellerin daha da kaldırılması beklenirken Avrupa Parlamentosu’ndan bu tür bir düzenleme geçmesi aynı zamanda “selfie” furyasına da belirli bir oranda ket vurabilir.

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Mobbing: Facing the Bullies [Reunion/ Återträffen, 2013]


The Swedish Palace in Istanbul has a wonderful series of activities varying from network meetings, digital gatherings and film nights. The season finale of the film nights of this year took place on June 4th, 2015 with the screening of the film “Reunion” (Återträffen) [2013] by Anna Odell who brilliantly reveals the society’s power structures, culture of bullying and mobbing.

The invitations were sent out weeks earlier, although I did not personally check the content of the film (mostly, in order not to get any accidental spoilers, and partly because I trusted the quality of the selection). Not knowing the genre, story, plot of the film, I had no idea what to expect when the opening scene showed an empty school corridor. But, given that the title of the film was “Reunion”, I was thinking “It must be taking place at a school’s garden”.

This was not the case; the alumni were to meet at a party organized by one of the graduates, 20 years after graduation. The first fifty minutes of the film was not only brilliantly portraying a person’s psychological situation as a result of heavy bullying throughout adolescence, but also disturbing the viewers in so many aspects. One could feel the burden of similar attitudes which took place in their earlier years, or consider a part of their life where they were the ones who put that kind of pressure on other people. No matter what, it opened the viewers eyes to the past and cause a self-questioning period during the film.

Then came in the silent corridors again. The first part of the film that we saw appears to be a film in the film. One by one we see the actors who portray the actual people who belong to the youth of the protagonist, the director herself. As she keeps inviting the others to watch the film with her, we can see how attitudes change. To begin with the bullies of her past do not appear to be as horrible as they are portrayed in the film inside the film. Yet, in the aftermath it is possible to see how these characters are playing much cooler to avoid the interaction and accusations. The bullying continues till the 30s of the characters and as it is not contested, they continue to disturb the society in their ways.

The film reveals the importance of manner-moderation and the facts on how cruel children can be. In the aftermath of the film, we the viewers at the Swedish Palace have discussed the issue briefly. Then this lively discussion made me think about mobbing in work places. As it is a kind of concept I only came to understand during my military service, it is impossible to unlearn it now. And I regard this phenomenon the same way as I have learnt in the first place: people act like in kindergarten and primary school throughout their lives. Over the last few years, I have come to see how some children are deemed as “unwanted” at school, just like some employees in companies. And the methods of discrimination, casting out and distancing one’s self from that designated person almost never changes. Yet, most people are not as courageous as Anna Odell in facing their childhood bullies and standing up to them.

It has been a good season that ended with a rather disturbing, dramatic film, which has triggered many thoughts and left us with inspiration for the upcoming season with regards to the new projects that we will curate. The ending of the film, shows a significant scene. Anna Odell with her friend sittin on top of a roof and the view keeps distancing from the couple upwards, like the feeling of Odell’s spirit. And the burden remains on the minds and hearts of the bullies in the end. This can have big impact on our societies, as the experimental children that get raised in completely isolated atmospheres might save the parents’ the trouble of dealing with a child who grows up in problematic environment, but creates a bigger burden for the future of that child who will face a culture-shock the moment s/he mingles with the crowds of bullies.

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