There’s been quite a discussion going on in my personal blog about the fact that all of WordPress.com has been blocked by Turkey.
Lots of people, including us, are confused and indignant about this wholesale censorship. Last night we received a letter from the person claiming to be responsible for the block, which in the interest of the community I’m going to publish in its entirety here:
We have applied to you to remove the unlawful statements regarding my client Mr. Adnan Oktar (who is the author of the books written under the pen name Harun Yahya) in your blogs. The number of our attempts to inform and warn you regarding these defamation blogs must have been at least twenty, many times through your support page, a couple of times to your legal department and we even sent a regular mail to Mr. Matt Mullenweg. Most of our attempts were unanswered.
These defamation blogs contained slanders to some of my client’s friends as well. They also applied WordPress.com support with their official ID cards and a representative directed them to write to the legal department. So they did but again no response from legal.
So we have become obliged to apply to Turkish judicial courts to stop this defamation executed through your services. By the decision of Fatih 2nd Civil Court of First Instance, number 2007/195, access to WordPress.com has been blocked in Turkey.
The organization, which is led by Edip Yuksel, responsible for these defamation blogs in question are currently up for crimes such as “building an organization to commit crime” in Turkey. The sites of Edip Yuksel, http://www.yahyaharun.com, http://www.19.org, http://www.calinmisgenclik.com and also the blog under your site with the user name http://adnanoktar.wordpress.com have been blocked by Turkish judicial courts in Turkey before(by Gaziosmanpasa Civil Court of First Instance, dated 06.04.2007 and decision number 2007/130 D. Is) . We have also sent you the official documents on this judicial decision in one of our applications to you.
Since Edip Yuksel and his crime organization could easily start new blogs in your site, they had even launched a campaign in opening defamation blogs regarding my client and had explicitly expressed this organized endeavor in his defamation blogs:
“In order to make people hear our voice, let everyone start new blogs from websites such as http://blogcu.com or http://wordpress.com and let them copy the posts on those blogs and paste them to their own. You can start several at once, if possible. Please remember that the name you will give to the blogs, should be related to Adnan Oktar or Harun Yahya in order to find them quickly through Google search. If the names are already taken, you can solve this problem by using characters such as “_” (Adnan_Oktar) or numbers such as AdnanOktar100, Adnan_Oktar_50.”
The aim of all of these blogs that he and his organization starts, was to insult my client. All of them were completely full of slanderous statements. There are still some sites left open -not accessible from Turkey, but still accessible abroad – :
The below are taken but still empty:
As we have requested before:
WE DEMAND YOU TO REMOVE AND PROHIBIT ANY BLOGS IN YOUR SITE THAT CONTAIN MY CLIENT’S NAME ADNAN OKTAR OR HIS PEN NAME HARUN YAHYA OR VARIOUS COMBINATION OF THESE 4 NAMES.
Attorneys of Mr. Adnan Oktar (Harun Yahya)
Atty. Kerim Kalkan / Atty. Ceyhun Gökdoğan (Istanbul Barr register number:
Address: Darulaceze caddesi, Bilal Is Merkezi, A Blok, D:5. Okmeydani Sisli
Telephone: 90 212 220 31 20
Fax: 90 212 220 74 21
So there you have it.
I’m curious, particularly amoung our Turkish community, what do you think we should do about this? How should we respond?
Update: I have some new info from the offending lawyers on my blog.