Hollywood’s ‘Subliminal Anti-Erdoğan Film’ Detected by TRT

Turkish state-owned TRT has aired a commentary show regarding the agenda and the subject of the day was a Hollywood film named ‘Spectral’ where the depicted evil character is allegedly based on the physical appearance of Turkish President Erdoğan.

(Original on dokuz8)

The sequence opens with the hostess of the show and the commentators asking “who is it” and continues to explain “it is someone very well known”. The hostess states that the selection of this image can not be a coincidence and must be deliberate.

Later in the show the commentators explain how subliminal messages and manipulation works, and how President Erdoğan’s image is being presented as the depiction of the enemy. One of the commentators explain that a subliminal message would be hidden in between scenes and lines, but the depiction in the movie is too obvious which is signifier of another thing: intimidation and targeting.

Throughout the sequence, while both commentators and the hostess state that the image resembles the president, his name is never uttered once, but referred to as “the person we have talked of”.

Posted in AKP, USA | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Turkish Minister Kaya deported from the Netherlands: Ankara-Amsterdam crisis in a nutshell

Turkish Minister of Family and Social Affairs, Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya has been declared persona-non grata in the Netherlands following a row of diplomatic tension between the two countries when Turkish government insisted on campaigning abroad on the week of Dutch elections; although Turkish legislation prohibits campaigning abroad. Turkish government has protested against the Netherlands and threatened to act harshly. President Erdoğan called the Dutch government ‘leftovers of Nazis, fascists’ and this escalated the tension further.

(Original on Dokuz8)

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım declared the Dutch deportation of Turkish minister as “an act serving the ‘nay’ vote in referendum”. However AKP officials, Turkish ministers as well as presidential spokesperson have stated that this tension would crystallize the Turkish nation’s approach to referendum, convincing them to vote yes on April 16.

Social media campaigns have been started targeting the Netherlands; among the trending topics there are many titles declaring the Netherlands as a fascist country with Nazi ideology. Various Turkish officials and pro-government journalists have announced their opinion regarding the Dutch restrictions and stated that it is all tied to ‘rising islamophobia and turkophobia in Europe’.

Only days before the Dutch elections, far right leader Geert Wilders has announced that the ‘Turkish residents in the Netherlands that think like Erdoğan should go back to Turkey and never come back.’ According to the latest general elections, 69.7% of the Dutch Turks have voted for AKP.

‘I know you will do what is necessary’

President Erdoğan has included the Netherlands in his talk at the International Goodness Awards ceremony and said “you will pay for this, we have not yet even started doing what should be done” and called on to the Turkish nationals living in Europe “I know you will do what is necessary” while likening the Turkish minister to a heroine from Turkey’s Independence War in 1920s.

Turkish Minister of EU Affairs Çelik has stated that ‘Europe has gone bankrupt in terms of democracy and captured by a dark racist ideology’. While vice-Prime Minister Canikli stated that ‘What holds Europe together is only respect to Human Rights and rule of law. Although Europe has always supported far right and the process has begun that Europe would shatter in pieces’.

AKP’s ally in the upcoming Executive Presidential System Referendum, Nationalist Movement Party MHP’s leader Devlet Bahçeli has also named his reaction to the situation and called for European branches of his party to mobilize and start acting.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also reacted to the situation and called for immediate cutting of all relations with the Netherlands and added that the CHP is ready to support in all ways possible. Currently the Netherlands is the origin of biggest portion of foreign investments in Turkey.

Turkish government has deemed the Dutch action as undemocratic and disrespective of Human Rights. Although as criticism Turkish citizens have been reminding the restrictive applications taking place in Turkey especially in the South-East where Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has absolute majority. In 2016, the HDP deputies and party officials were not allowed to visit cities within Turkey, as the city of Cizre had been cordoned off by military.

Regarding Minister Kaya’s statements about ‘the Netherlands declaring State of Emergency and Dutch police attacking Turkish citizens with horses and dogs’, the memory of Turkish police attacking university students with dogs on Ankara University have come up from a few weeks ago, during a protest against decree rulings of the State of Emergency Rule in Turkey.

Turkish residents have gathered in Dutch city of Rotterdam while in Turkish cities there have been arranged protest rallies. In Istanbul some citizens have entered the Dutch Palace and replaced the flag with a Turkish one while shouting Allahu Akbar, at the Consulate General of the Netherlands. Governing AKP’s youth branch in İzmit also gathered, stabbing and squeezing oranges in protest of the Netherlands.

Rector of Istanbul’s Maltepe University has tweeted that the university is cancelling all Erasmus exchange agreements with Dutch institutions.

Amidst the crisis, Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that they do not expect to see the Dutch ambassador soon, who is currently outside of Turkey. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs also responded that the Turkish government is responsible for the safety and security of diplomatic personnel within Turkey. In 2016, the Russian ambassador to Ankara had been shot dead by a bodyguard during an art gallery opening.

Posted in AKP, Europe, Far Right, Hate Speech, Integration, Nationalism, Protests, Social Media, Turkey | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

dokuz8NEWS at Internet Freedom Festival (IFF) in Valencia

As complexity of restrictions escalate targeting digital rights & liberties and free expression online, the people struggling against them also develop new strategies globally, and they have got together in Spain’s Valencia to share experiences, interact and respond to such restrictions with the same determination.

(Original on dokuz8)

This week, Spain’s Valencia is hosting participants from over a hundred countries at Internet Freedom Festival 2017 (IFF) this week. There are many issues to be discussed under the general themes of Community, Training & Best Practices, Internet Freedom’s Present & Future, Tools & Technology, Policy & Advocacy, Regions & Groups, Communications & Design, and Journalism & Media. The festival takes place between March 6–10, and dokuz8NEWS is participating as well, to share experiences and discuss matters that have become salient in Turkey.

IFF has emerged as a structure that presents participants with a cooperation level built upon diversity and inclusiveness, to support free expression online, expanding access to online platforms and to protect against digital threats. In 2015 it started out as Circumvention Tech Festival, and has become one of the broadest events to have participants from a variety of countries, expertise and topics regarding internet freedom.

Digital threats equally harm physical rights & liberties

According to the festival’s definition, restrictions targeting digital free expression in online platforms not only stay at digital but also spill over targeting physical rights & liberties. However, the struggle against restrictions and limitations also pace at the same level. The current atmosphere presents digital rights & liberties defenders with reason and opportunity to get together to discuss new forms of activities, tools and strategies globally in a coordinated fashion.

Participants set the agenda

Internet freedom communities’ have a platform to discuss matters that concern issues related to free expression online and digital rights & liberties. As the platform belongs to the participants, they set the agenda to discuss what they see as salient. Moreover, the participants have access to a platform to discuss the challenges they meet, methods and strategies they have developed, and to coordinate with each other globally.

dokuz8NEWS / Gürkan Özturan

Posted in Censorship, Digital, Europe, media freedom, Social Media, Surveillance State, Turkey | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Valencia’da İnternet Özgürlükler Festivali

İnternet üzerinde ifade hürriyetine, dijital haklara ve erişime karşı geliştirilen zorluklar oldukça karmaşık bir yapıya dönüştükçe, bu tür engellemelerle başa çıkan topluluklar da bunlara aynı kararlılıkla karşılık vermek için bir araya geliyor. İspanya’nın Valencia kenti 2017 Internet Özgürlükler Festivali (IFF) kapsamında bu hafta yüzden fazla ülkeden gelen katılımcıyı ağırlıyor. dokuz8HABER’in de katılım gösterdiği etkinliğin geçmişi ve güncel gündemi Türkiye’de git gide daha da aciliyet kazanan konuları barındırıyor.

(Orjinali dokuz8’de)

İspanya’nın Valencia kenti 2017 Internet Özgürlükler Festivali (IFF) kapsamında bu hafta yüzden fazla ülkeden gelen katılımcıyı ağırlıyor. Internet toplulukları, eğitimler, internet özgürlüklerinin bugünü ve geleceği, araçlar ve teknolojiler, politika ve yönetişim, bölgesel yaklaşımlar, iletişim ve tasarım, habercilik ve medya ana başlıkları altında onlarca konuyu gündeminde barındıran festival, 6–10 Mart tarihleri arasında gerçekleşiyor. dokuz8HABER’in de katılım gösterdiği etkinliğin geçmişi ve güncel gündemi Türkiye’de git gide daha da aciliyet kazanan konuları barındırıyor.

IFF, çeşitlilik, kapsayıcılık ve işbirliği düzleminde ortaya çıkan kitlesel çabaları destekleyerek internette ifade hürriyetini destekleyen, dijital tehditlere karşı koruma sağlayan ve çevrimiçi alanlara erişim ortamını genişleten bir yapı olarak, 2015 yılında [Sansürü] Aşma Teknolojileri Festivali adıyla düzenlenmeye başlamıştı. Bugün geldiği noktada, Internet Özgürlük Festivali internet özgürlüklerine dair dünyadaki en geniş katılımlı, geniş bir yelpazede çeşitliliğe sahip, kapsayıcı bir etkinlik olarak belirtiliyor.

Dijitla tehditler insan hakları ve ifade hürriyetine kitlesel bir biçimde zarar verir

Festivalin tanımında bahsi geçen dijital ifade hürriyeti savunmasına göre dijital ortamlarda ifade hürriyetine getirilen kısıtlamalar, aslında fiziksel mecralardaki engellemelerden farklılık göstermiyor. Fakat, her koşulda getirilen kısıtlamalara karşı mücadele eden ağlar da bu engellemelerle aynı hızda yol kat ediyor. Farklı ülkelerde gerçekleşen engelleyici uygulamalara karşı geliştirilen önlemler ve yöntemlerin özgür bir biçimde tartışılabilmesi adına, kolektif bir çaba sarf edilebilecek, kapsayıcı bir koordinasyonun önemi günümüz dünyasında büyük bir önem arz ediyor.

IFF’de katılımcılar gündemi belirliyor

Internet özgürlükleri topluluklarında katılımcılar hali hazırdaki gündeme dair konuları tartışabilecekleri çeşitlilik hakim olduğu ve kapsayıcı etkinliklere dahil olabiliyor. Etkinlikte farklı seviye ve yöntemlerle geliştirilen engelleyici uygulamalara karşı olan çabalar paylaşılıp, katılımcılar birbirlerinden öğrenme imkanı buluyor. Festivalde Kendi bölgelerinde sesi özellikle kısılmaya çalışılan kişilere verilen kürsü hakkı, söylenecek sözlere imkan sağlıyor.

IFF her yıl dünya çapında dijital haklar savunucuları, haberciler, aktivistler, teknoloji uzmanları, plan ve siyaset savunucuları, dijital güvenlik eğitmenleri, ve tasarımcılar da dahil olmak üzere bir çok kişiyi konuk ediyor. IFF kapsamında varlığına özellikle önem atfedilen üç ana başlık bulunuyor;

Kapsayıcı bir mecra oluşturarak internet özgürlükleri topluluğuna bilgi birikimlerini paylaşabilecekleri, birbirleriyle etkileşime girebilecekleri bir güven ortamı sunmak.

Çeşitliliği artırarak internet özgürlükleri topluluğunun özellikle de temsil edilemeyen kişilerine söz hakkı tanınması.

Özellikle de sansür, gözetim ve erişim engelleriyle karşılaşan en riskli bölgelerde yaşayan bireylere sağlanan hizmetleri, stratejileri ve araçları toplu halde geliştirmek

Dokuz8HABER / Gürkan Özturan

Posted in Digital, Europe, media freedom, Social Media, Turkey | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

‘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)

(Republished on Political Critique)

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…”



Posted in media freedom, Turkey | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.



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