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Turkish GSM networks currently play a message of the President on any phone call
425 points by mrtksn on July 15, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 173 comments
Turkey reached another milestone of propaganda thanks to the total control of the communications.

Right know when you make a phone call using your mobile phone, before ringing starts citizens are forced to listen to 10 seconds voice recording of the president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Here is a demonstration: https://twitter.com/sendika_org/status/886343590208835584

Here is a Twitter search that will provide you with many more videos showcasing the issue: https://twitter.com/search?f=videos&vertical=default&q=erdoğan%20telefon&src=tyah

Here is a report by BBC(Turkish edition): https://twitter.com/bbcturkce/status/886351634888085505

The message is about the anniversary of the unsuccessful coup attempt believed to be orchestrated by Gulenists(previous allies of the president, currently branded as Terrorists ) that took place on 15.06.2016, claiming the lives of more than 200 civilians and led to uncontested power grab by the President.

Right now Turkey is one of the most hostile countries for the journalists. Wikipedia is banned since a while.

"As president, I send congratulations on the July 15 National Day of Democracy and Unity and wish the martyrs mercy and the heroes (of the defeat of the coup) health and wellbeing,"

Source: https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/36394050/mr-president-erdo...

Martyrs and heroes -- the core elements of unabashed propaganda.

Actually I m glad I don't make too many phone calls, (who's using their smartphones for making calls) but this type of "call injection" may annoy similar to Ads-gone-insane recently on the web. That happens because after the Gulen Islamists' coup d'Etat faction killed around 250 civilians and wounded 2500 civilians(mostly ) last year during the coup attempt - the voters for the main party feel too emotional during the anniversary of the event. Ironically AKP voters had sympathy for US based cleric Gulen who calls himself the Imam of the Universe and embedded thousands of his sect members in police, army etc in past 40 years especially accelerating in the past 15 years.

I guess and hope in a couple of years - things will be normalized.

Are you in fact Turkish?

(HN: If he is, maybe he shouldn't be downvoted so hard… aren't you at least curious to hear from laypersons there without punishing them for not seeing things the way we do? Hear, converse, leave with greater understanding)

Clearly you miss the point of the outrage over this.

There is something equally insane happening on the Turkish internets right now.

At least two major mobile operators / ISPs are injecting JS into web traffic to display pop-up ads / Youtube videos on the lower right corner of every web page. The videos "commemorate" last year's events on July 15 in a language that is, to put it mildly, thorougly in line with Erdogan's ideology, and make a point of offering free data and phone credits throughout the 3-day commemorations being held.

Yeah, I've noticed the injected video my ISP, Turkcell Superonline. Only works with sites with no HTTPS/HTTP->HTTPS redirection since they can't proxy sites with SSL.

Interestingly, I don't get the Erdogan's message on my cell. My friends tried calling me last night to hear the message, they don't hear it when they call me either. Could be related to me using my networks -paid- call ring tone customising app.

Back in 2013 the Turkish CA (TURKTRUST) enabled phishers to spoof Google. Given the current situation, finding someone who tries to mess up the certificates should not be a surprise.

> https://security.googleblog.com/2013/01/enhancing-digital-ce...

> https://www.wired.com/2013/01/google-fraudulent-certificate/

Some time ago Wikipedia has been banned in Turkey because the government didn't like a couple of pages about its involvement in the Syria civil war. (I don't have references handy but you can find easily with Google)

In the past couple of weeks I noticed the a number of ISPs (for sure Turkcell for mobile and Türk Telekom for land lines) started injecting a wrong certificate, I guess to MITM the communication.

The certificate is of course wrong (it is both untrusted and the domain name is wrong) so the browser will notice this and block the access, but I'm surprised that I haven't seen any discussion about this online

Nobody would burn a CA just so they can inject some ads into Google. They'll be able to do it for 24hrs max before somebody notices (less if it's a google site, because chrome reports rogue certificates to google)

Was there any evidence that any phishing went on with that certificate?

For a additional level of scary allow people to opt out but record who they are and compile a list. Use the list to deny them services or imprison when the next overthrow is attempted."You've been protesting and we noticed you blocked messages from our glorious leader... clearly a candidate for the labor camp"

Ouch. It's terrible when guys like this find guys like you to work for them :)

But someone else would have done it anyway.

Ah, but you see, you were the one who actually did do it.

That's what the UK does with their anti-porn policy. (At least the first part.)

Even if you stop watching TV, reading newspapers and following the political people on social media and avoid discussing political news with people, you can't escape from him and his followers.

They will force you to believe what they believe and if you don't, they will flag you and also make you listen their leader no matter what you do to avoid their propaganda.

Even though I believe that the leaders of Gulenist group did the coup attempt and are terrorist, Erdogan gave this power to them and yet acts like he's not responsible from all these shit.

> Gulenist group did the coup attempt

Has the government provided convincing evidence of this? I know Gülen was immediately accused despite not being in the country, but I don't know of any evidence of his audience being involved beyond Erdoğan not getting along with the guy, which automatically makes any opposition sympathetic to him.

The government has not provided convincing evidence that "Gulenist group did the coup attempt" although there were at least some Gulenists involved. Bellingcat got hold of the whatsapp messages of some of the coup guys and the seem much more like the Kermalist / secular military types that did Turkey's previous coup attempts. (https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2016/07/24/the-turkey-c...)

Erdoğan was out to get the Gulenists as some of them did try to get rid of him by exposing his corruption earlier but that's a different thing from attempting a coup. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/turkey/1065...)

AFAIK the evidence is that well known civilian Gulen affiliates were caught in military bases and armoured vehicles on the coup night but a concrete evidence of Gulen himself giving the orders do not exist. A bit like the story of the Russian military personnel in Ukraine(like everything points to Russia but Kremlin denies any involvement and claims that the caught soldiers were on a vacation in war zone).

If you want to read more about the subject, here is a nice write up by pro-Erdogan, liberal, non-islamist(yep, they still exist) Turkish jurnos: https://medium.com/@15thJulyCoup/who-was-behind-the-15th-jul...

As someone outside of Turkish politics: how is it even possible to be liberal and pro-erdogan?

I can see why someone might like the guy or think he's somehow good for the country, but it seems, to an outsider, that he's 100% incompatible with liberal values.

Erdogan came to power thanks to the support of the liberals. He had their support because before Erdogan Turkey wasn't a liberal democracy and Erdogan actually had very progressive agenda compared to the hard core secularist establishment. That's how he had the support of the EU and USA liberals too.

Turkey before Erdogan wasn't much different than today but with much less islamic sauce in the politics.

Author is Yildiray Ogur! He is anything but liberal. As a matter of fact his best bud(Mustafa Varank)from college is perhaps the top advisor to Erdogan. He was also the chief propagandist during Ergenekon trials which they jailed thousands od secular writers, millitary officers, journalist.

Their media was clearly inferring that they will fix the problem in a near future and this was the only way for them to get rid of the pressure. They spent their last 15 years to raise police officers, soldiers, doctors and primary school teachers and the government was helping them since they thought that the Gulenists will obey their rules and share their mission by oppressing their non-supporters.

Basically Erdogan took a religious group and made them political and when they had the power, they used it against the government and Erdogan just got away with the accusations with "We were tricked by Gulenists, they're terrorist", nothing more.

Although Gulen still doesn't accept that they did the coup attempt, this was the only way for them to out and even this one was actually hopeless. They have a great hierarchic system so it's hard to keep track of the decision-maker and prove the case so there is no clear evidence, that's why I told "I believe". It's possible that Erdogan knew the coup attempt and yet wait for them (or even convince with third-party organizations) to do it so that we can declare them terrorist without a doubt and do whatever he wants with his followers' support.

Actually there's no doubt that Gulenist islamists staged the coup and they are like those private label grocery brands - never do anything on their own name. Their US-based cleric has embedded thousands of Shakirts(students) well organized in police, army, juridical system. Indeed till last few years, Gulenists were the love of Erdogan, a lot of governments, politicians and public, liberals. Now only left with some support in Washington, as they lack clear motto, ideology and have close to zero public support.

That sounds an awful lot like the Global Liberal Conspiracy. If they don't even have a common ideology, how can they be said to follow the teachings of any cleric?

they were barebone Islamists and I suspect in Washington it's not much in fashion.

your comparison is wrong btw.

The reality is that this not only stops at the Turkish borders. Pro Erdogan media easily finds it message abroad through TV satellite channels for examples.

There was a study or survey here in Belgium that those channels are the only way a lot of the Turkish community receives their news and information. What we have seen after the coup was an extremely uprising in violence and threats (last month even a murder) between pro erdogan supporters and non supporters. And from all EU countries I think they voted the most pro-Erdogan.

And while its too easy to make a correlation between the two, I personally do think this has some influence at least. Media is a very powerful tool.

Have anybody thought why you hear the sound(beeeep-beeeeep-....) when you make a call and from where it comes? Yes, telco can put anything there. Even more, I wounder why we do not hear some commercial Ad's every time we call. This would be in a spirit of current times...

Indeed! Verizon, a carrier in the US, actually made a product out of this by allowing people to buy what they branded "Ringback Tones" which would play some song or tune when someone called your number and you hadn't picked up yet. Not sure if it's still a thing.

They are. All those Emergency numbers you call to see if school is canceled are really ringback tones. It's how many people can call at once to receive the message w/o hearing a busy tone.

> how many people can call at once to receive the message w/o hearing a busy tone.

And yet, by calling the same (typically toll-free) number, a call center's worth of support calls can be handled simultaneously.

Implementing this as ringbacks would not seem to be the only way.

Well, of course if you are willing to pay the phone company for multiple lines and install an expensive phone system you can waste a tone of money doing it other ways.

I never would have thought of that but it makes sense

They were pushed heavily by operators in (parts of?) Europe in the mid 2000's, back when every other TV ad was for Jamba ringtones. I was on the operator "Three" and they let you set your ringback tone to "3 Is A Magic Number" for free much to the chagrin of absolutely everyone who called me.

The ringback tones were immensely popular in China. Nowadays it has faded in popularity.

Same thing in India, though I was there a while ago. People seemed to love setting it to the some song from a recent movie. It was about a dollar a month, decent income for the telcos, I'd imagine.

They're called "caller tunes" in India. Used to be really popular a few years ago. Now they're a bit less common.

You can still get them, they just hide them away in a corner of Verizon's site now.

I have a friend who works at Verizon and still has a ringback tone.

They do this pretty much everywhere.

Some of the mobile carriers in the U.K. have provided the option to change the dialing tone when people call you for a good few years. I think it was limited to a preselected list of songs though.

Don't give them ideas please :-)

In Denmark, we have "THREE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER... YES IT IS. IT'S THE MAGIC NUMBER. []" "song" when dialling others while using the 3 Mobile telco operator.

And now, think of an idea that they also can play any audio ADs , like on FM radio, while you are waiting for other side to answer. :-)

Does anyone know who is listening to YOU when that ring tone comes?

So so sad when a country devolves into quasi-dictatorship


At least it could be said that it could get worse.

But that's always true, even in North Korea.

They still have elections.


It's a gray area. So far, at least, they still count the votes, and the votes do add up to the majority. You could argue that in the absence of truly free media, those voters are deceived, and are voting against their interest. But then we have free media in US, and yet...

Turkey is not the only country like this, by the way. In Russia, the government similarly enjoys majority popular support, even though elections aren't even free at this point (numerous fraud issues). Many would say that Hungary and Poland are on their way to this same place.

I would argue that such a system is still democratic, insofar the government does reflect the desires of the majority of the electorate. It is no longer a liberal democracy, however, with checks and balances to prevent abuses and to allow the electorate to (in theory) make informed decisions. Perhaps "authoritarian democracy" would be an appropriate term.

However, one has to see that many countries that are considered "real" democracies have quasi cartels as well. The most famous example being the US, however it's certainly not limited to that. Other candidates do get rejected by other than grassroots style media. Even opposition within certain movements is sometimes suppressed.

However, I don't think that any of this does make a country a non democracy, as long as you are not having a hard time making the cross on the opposition.

You can maybe call the level of democracy lower, the less information you have, which includes things like history, or public education of how the democratic systems work, or low level of transparency or scary things like secret laws, interpretations of laws, etc.

I don't think authoritarian democracy makes sense. It's a democracy that has an authoritarian party ruling, but the system behind it currently isn't exactly authoritarian itself.

That difference is important I think, because without well defined words and phrases everyone will use that phrase against critics as well making these terms very hard to use.

I am sorry for using the US as an example here. It isn't meant to be a "what about", but I chose it as a country that most readers here likely know enough about when it comes to politics. So I chose it to have a hopefully good example. Similar problematic areas for democracies exist around the globe, probably in every democratic country. I think one can always work on developing democracies through increasing transparency, education and information.

EDIT: Oh and it's certainly also not meant to defend what is going on in Turkey. Authoritarian parties are likely to reduce the transparency, education and information and also likely to transform it into an authoritarian system.

The number in the video is 112, which is Turkish-equivalent of 911 in the U.S.

Pasted from Wikipedia

112 is a part of the GSM standard and all GSM-compatible telephone handsets are able to dial 112 even when locked or, in some countries, with no SIM card present. It is also the common emergency number in India and in nearly all member states of the European Union as well as several other countries of Europe and the world.

You can dial it in the US too..

even for 112? what if some real emergency happens (fire/robber/terrorism)? The caller has to listen to the recording?

That's lame.

That's some IT Crowd TV show level bizareness.


I wonder if anyone in Turkey is dialling 112 to test if the message is played. Maybe people are calling their mums to test if the message is on, perhaps it is a good day for telco revenue.

nah, telcos granted free usage rights for the day. It's absolutely absurd.

It's a lie like so much other stuff in the press. I'm currently in Turkey/Antalya, I've a cell-phone with a turkish Vodafone SIM card - I had several phone calls today - no president in my phone.

I think it was done by the telco, not on a national level. Turkcell did it (not that Turk Telekom wouldn't - they just didn't think of doing ito\) and Vodafone, being a huge multinational, can avoid licking government ass so they didn't have one (Similar situation on TV; the only major network that occasionally supports the opposition is Fox - yes, in Turkey, fucking Fox is left-wing - kinda)

I haven't heard anything neither, although I tried hard to call everyone. Maybe some portion of prepaid tariff sim cards could be having it as they had some other types of ads in the past. Maybe you're right, could equally be "fake news".

Definitely not "Fake News". TRT(Turkish equivalent of BBC) reported that the stunt was organised by the BTK(Information Technologies Committee, govt. body): http://www.trthaber.com/haber/gundem/gsm-operatorlerinin-abo...

The reason I was suspicious is that your post read more like a basket case for dramatization propaganda including "total control of the communications", "wikipedia", "journalists". Between 2005-201x, When Gulenists were embedded in every institution, and our fake "liberals" were cheering - people used to be afraid to make phone calls as they were recording and posting mobile conversations by everyone on their "liberal" media. Many businessmen used to apply to them, for tweaking the judicial system.

But I guess, the BTK guy, went too far to put the 10sec celebration message of the president to celebrate the official national public holiday. Just FYI - on prepaid tariffs there's already some kind of ads by mobile operators.

I don't want to bring the classical Turkish political debates to HN. I will briefly say that Turkey actually had really good progressive years under AKP right until they teamed with the Gulenist and begin arresting people for the Ergenekon&Balyoz. Turkey before Erdogan was also not short of imprisoned journalists and intellectuals, that's why liberals were eager to give Erdogan a chance.

Why are they a NATO country again

Here is why: Half of the population wants to be part of the Western world. They believe in secularity and many other Western ideals. That's how Turkey became a close ally to US, part of NATO and almost became part of EU. Because this half had the control and the other half previously mostly lived in villages and wasn't interested in power. Then, as they moved to cities and as they became influential, the other half of the population took over the country and started applying middle eastern and Islamic ideals instead. And, they have so much ambition and hatred in them. They are ready to replace the democratic republic with a new Ottoman Empire that will probably be similar to Iran.

Expect West to kick out Turkey from NATO or Turkey to leave NATO soon since the islamists see west as evil.

> Expect West to kick out Turkey from NATO or Turkey to leave NATO soon since the islamists see west as evil.

I don't think so. Unfortunately, ethics often play a less than significant role in international affairs like this. Just look at the dealings the Western world and the US in particular have with a backwards, medieval state like Saudi-Arabia that more or less openly supports Islamic extremism.

Turkey is a strategically important region, not least because with Bosphorus it guards access to the Black Sea. From a geopolitical point of view the "West" couldn't possibly want Turkey to align with another bloc or another powerful country.

You do realize that without Western support current Saudi government will fall victim to internal opposition, which is much more fundamentalist and is not significantly different from ISIS, right?

I'd say that'd remain to be seen. ISIS essentially is a doomsday cult. A fundamentalist state like that isn't sustainable in the long run.

Make no mistake though, the Western world doesn't prop up the Saudi government out of moral reasons. They do this because of Saudi-Arabia's significance to the oil economy. The House of Saud in exchange complies with the economic - and to some extent - political demands of the Western world.

Clearly, NATO has nothing to do with values as opposed to maybe EU, (that's also disputable). GP's naive assumption of "believing in secularity and many other Western ideal" is kind of a post-cold war, remain in the minds of a lot of Turkish elite to join the EU. But apparently that won't happen any time soon, or maybe never.

Weird, kinda like the US.

> Weird, kinda like the US.

Which part of aytekin (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14780685) 's message reminds you of the US? Whatever else one may say of the current state of US politics, this:

> the other half of the population took over the country and started applying middle eastern and Islamic ideals instead. … the islamists see west as evil.

doesn't sound like it. (To be fair, I didn't quote:

> They believe in secularity and many other Western ideals.


> they have so much ambition and hatred in them.

(different 'they'), which maybe fit some groups, according to your leanings.)

Which part of aytekin's message reminds you of the US?

For me, it was the notion of those in villages / rural areas having increasing interest in power, as they feel increasingly abandoned & their values ignored. It reminded me of the US Midwest becoming more interested in politics, leading to Trump's win over Clinton:

“You saw turnout spike in more rural counties,” Alexander said. “If you take a look at a lot of the larger cities you did see depressed turnout there. [1]

Microsoft made a similar observation when announcing their rural high speed wireless internet intiative:

"That message was underscored in last year's presidential election, when rural voters expressed dissatisfaction and anger over being left out of economic and technological growth, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said. "It's fair to say the election raised our level of consciousness, as it did for a great many people in the country."" [2]

[1] http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/voter-turnout-2016-elect...

[2] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-11/microsoft...

Spot on. I guess the backclash to Globalization is still progressing (despite Macron). I listened to most of the GOP candidates running for US presidency during debates on FOX, CNN and other channels. I was surprised how similar they sounded to : especially Trump, Carson, Cruz, somewhat Rubio.

Rise of the Rednecks

...or the downfall of the Bluenecks? While some living outside of metropolis can rightly be called 'redneck' and others have taken to the title as a badge of honour, most fall in neither category. Just like most living inside the ant heap would resent being called a blueneck, really.

Replace "the west" with "globalism" and "islamic" with "evangelical", and you'll see a comparable sentiment in the US.

In the US, all these things are strongly correlated: Living in non-rural areas; anti-globalist sentiment; religiosity; support for Christianity in schools and government, including as guiding principles for domestic law and international policies; distrust of higher education; and lower amounts of travel.

The analogies are there.

Since when has it been a requirement that NATO partners are true democracies?

Both Greece and Portugal have been dictatorships and NATO members at the same time.

Well said - people confuse NATO with "values" as II. Bush had a similar rhetoric. It's all about mitigating risks - and geography matters.

They weren't communist, the only important thing. The organization includes Portugal as a founding member and their first real act was supporting the Rhee led South Korea, why would they object to this?

Lucky choice of real estate.

Its not Lucky, Location, Location and Location is very important for Geo-politics.

But it's not like the Turkish people, or government, got to look at the 2017 world map and place a claim marker.

It's 100% luck.

If you think that it's "luck" that Turkey's location on the map is important in 2017, you should go back and look at the history of the region. Istanbul has been one of the major focal points of world history for literally 7000 years. Ottomans, Romans, Greeks, Persians, and even Celts (yes, those Celts) have ruled over or passed through the region. Hell, the place where "history" was invented is even in modern Turkey.

"Luck" has nothing to do with it.

Yes, but only in so much that it's luck that anything is next to anything. The Turks wanting to control the region was a natural decision at the time. The area was a major trade center due to the Hellespont and Anatolia became quite wealthy from trade between the Greeks and Persians. When Rome conquered the area, it was the richest spot in the empire.

wasn't luck hundreds of years ago. that said, the country as it is today isn't in a good position to take advantage of its position.

Because of EU influence: Turkey acts like a bottle cap to seal the wave of refugees coming from ISIS war. That's why they are tolerated. EU gave Turkey a lot of money to keep the refugees, fleeing from Middle East wars, away from entering en masse in Europe.

>> EU gave Turkey a lot of money to keep

Funny enough, EU agreed as part of the refugee deal, but didn't pay the money promised.

It probably would have been cheaper to erect a wall between Europe and the middle-east, and station guards on top of it. You know, how a border is supposed to be like.

Because Turkish straits have huge strategic importance, especially in the event of war with Soviet Union, er, I mean Russia.

What exactly is he saying? Can someone translate?

He says: "I would like to congratulate the 15th of of July, the democracy and national unity day. I pray to God for the Martyrs and I wish health and prosperity to our wounded"

It may sound benign but the actors and they way the coup attempt happened are disputed and close to half of the population does not subscribe to the official accounts. The main opposition leader claims that the coup attempt happened under supervision of the president himself and was used as a tool to grab total control of the state.

There is some... interesting evidence pointing that way, e.g. how the coup was done when Erdogan was nowhere to be found and safe. As far as I can tell, it was either orchestrated by him, or the organizers were supremely incompetent in even the most basic details (who starts a coup without knowing where the damn target is?).

It would not be the first coup to fail because of bad timing. It is likely that, if it was a not a government organised shenanigan, the organizers panicked and enforced their plans too early making a mess of the timing and available data.

On the other hand, considering the effectiveness of the government dealing with it and speed of how everything happened after the coup was struck down (and yes, I'm biased due to lack of proper reporting like everyone everywhere) it sure smells like a well orchestrated coup, only not from the people who are currently being prosecuted but from those prosecuting.

I'm going to do a Godwin here and get Martinus van der Lubbe involved. You can figure out the rest.

Would like to know as well. Not a single comment on Twitter or here has the translation.

I am Persian/Azeri. I know a little bit of Turkish too. I provide you with a little bit of translation until official translation will be available:

"... congratulation for our Democracy and our national day, we want compassion for our mythers from God. I want health and prosperity for our ...[I couldn't understand this part]"

This basically kind of congratulation/propaganda message.

p.s. My Turkish is not reliable.

> p.s. My Turkish is not reliable.

But worth mentioning that Azeri is a Turkic language, and probably the closest major relative to Turkish.

I wonder how would things have been if Turket had been accepted to EU 10 years ago. Would it have helped?

Yes, almost certainly. They wouldn't have had to become a member back then. All that was needed was a realistic path to membership.

Instead, some influential EU leaders basically said "It's never going to happen", sometimes under pressure from their countries' right wing. Not because Turkey was economically too far behind, or because of concerns with the rule of law, but simply because a sizeable portion of EU populations objected to non-christians becoming part of the EU.

Nobody knows what could have been, and the current situation shows that turkish democracy was rather weak all along. But it's important to remember that Erdogan started out as a moderate, who sought nothing more than approval from the EU, and only turned to the dark side after repeatedly being humiliated. It's possibly one of largest mistakes made in recent history.

The biggest mistake of the EU has been accepting too many countries in, not too few.

For an Europeanist it's desperating to see how the UK (now to be gone) and Eastern European countries have always blocked policies of further integration.

If Turkey were in and with veto power, the EU would be able to do practically nothing, as the cultural and political differences are huge. The EU would probably be on the verge of breaking up now, or would have already broken up at the Greek crisis.

And the story of the "moderate" Erdogan turning an authoritarian dictator after being "humiliated" sounds extremely naive to me. The things he is doing are not the work of a humiliated moderate. They are the work of an authoritarian for whom the alleged humiliation was a very convenient excuse to stop pretending to be a moderate.

Depends on where you put your counterfactuals. It is true that once countries are in the EU, the EU has almost no leverage. That happened with Bulgaria and Rumania.

If you imagine a world where Turkey was in the EU, you might as well through in some mechanisms for more leverage on existing members?

> Rumania

It's spelled Romania.

Sorry, been playing too much Diplomacy. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomacy_(game)). They use the old spelling for historical flair.

Why should they accept a country that's not in Europe for 95% of its landmass? Not to mention the huge cultural gap.

The borders of Europe the continent are arbitrary.

Cultural gap between eg members Sweden and Italy is probably bigger than between member Greece and Turkey?

I've heard some Turks saying that the people living in Istanbul and western Turkey are basically Greek. Land has changed hands between Turkey and Greece many times and the people there often stayed put.

Of course, there's lots of animosity between them because of that shared history. So don't mention the similarities to their face, unless you know them well.

Cuisine in western Turkey and Greece is basically the same, too.

It may have simply made it easier for more cosmopolitan Turks to leave the country. Or, maybe integration would have harmonized them with Western society. Who can say?

EU isn't very effective in stopping Hungary's or Poland's authoritarian descent. I doubt it would be effective against Turkey.

If you look at it from the other perspective, you could argue that the EU's very left-leaning and sacrificial policies are being very effective in promoting such changes to Poland & Hungary. I personally wouldn't call it "authoritarian descent", though.

Turkey has been powerful when it had the "Islamic World" under its stewardship. Being EU member would have improved the hand of "Secularists" for few years or so. Given the unraveling of EU experiment it would have at best delayed certain things, sooner or later in a generation the Turkey will look more like the Ottoman era both in its power and projection than it was for much of 20th century.

So broadly speaking, NO.

Is no one else getting really fed up with this discriminatory dimming feature on HN? It's basically "Many of us don't like what you're saying (OK) and will therefore make it difficult for those with poor sight to read it (not OK)". What is it but weak censorship? What about an alternative?

Dexter Palmer's 2016 novel Version Control had imagined something rather like this in a near-future United States, where phone calls and video screens would occasionally be interrupted by a message from the president.

I had thought it was inventive and evocative, but sort of unrealistic.

I was wrong. Yikes.

So easy to imagine Trump doing this, too. He's already made much ado of needing Twitter to be heard properly instead of going through the "fake" (mainstream) news media. Imagine Twitter no longer feels like enough of a megaphone to the egomaniac. Is there any law against pressuring telcos to do this? Would he care if there were? Would he even be challenged if it came in response to a national emergency?

Watch Black Mirror's episode "Fifteen Million Merits"...

It's funny to see that Erdogan wants to battle every European country and at the same time he asks us to visit Turkey.

His power comes from the wealth and investments of Western companies, so the people had it good in the past. But this is currently changing. Its 'just' a waiting game.

> His power comes from the wealth and investments of Western companies,

That's not true - though wished for.

When people voted, they were tricked into thinking somehow they were voting against the West instead of installing a dictator for themself

Use a VPN to stop this happened again. Such as Yoga VPN, Bestline VPN, Super VPN...

What does this say in English?


I'm no expert on Erdogan but I understood him and his party to be centre right/right wing. This sort of action seems fairly characteristic of authoritarian regimes rather than just leftist ones.


Phone seems much more intrusive to me since it's a quite personal and private channel of communication as opossed to TV, or it should be at least.

Playing devils advocate here as I agree with you, phone call intrusion is worse. TV in the U.K. has to be paid for (with money that has her face on it) and the queens communications are pro-establishment, so it has a little of the creep factor.

The difference is you can opt to not listen to the Queen, here you have no other choice, the message is played for any call you make.

Can you opt not to have a Queen and not be a subject to some royal family you never voted for or agreed to?

Yes. The UK could vote to abolish the monarchy, but they haven't. In a typical democracy, you are subject to laws that you didn't vote for or "agree to". A modern constitutional monarchy is a structure agreed to by the people.

This is an extremely stupid, reductionist discussion that shows the difference between theoretical and practical freedoms.

While the Queen's approval is theoretically required for legislation and various other bits of constitutional machinery, in practice it is always granted.

The objections to the Queen's role in the power structure are theoretical; nobody can point to specific bad actions as justification for changing the system.

The objections to Erdogan are much more practical and involve suppression of opposition and journalists.

Sure, Turks could also have rejected Erdogan (they voted for his reforms a couple of months ago). What are you trying to say?

And what was the last time that the UK voted to be a monarchy? Because Turkey voting recently makes it arguably more democratic.

They didn't because most of the UK public supports UK being a monarchy so if anyone made such a proposition it would probably be highly unpopular. But they did vote to leave the EU for not having it their way. This decision has always been more popular, since about 60% of the UK public voted to join the EC, not the EU.

>They didn't because most of the UK public supports UK being a monarchy

Of course they do. After all they are indoctrinated in its favor from an early age.

I don't see what rational people, starting from first principles, would agree to a bunch of do-nothings sitting in a palace, aristocrats owning huge plots of land that just got handed down to them, that aristocratic class having huge say in politics, networking their kids everywhere, etc.

(As for the "it's good for tourism" argument, you can have your palaces and castles made into tourist places even after you have thrown out your royals. The Palace of Versailles makes millions in tourist fees every year for example.)

>"Of course they do. After all they are indoctrinated in its favor from an early age."

You could argue that for almost anything that we have in society (Religion and the State being the two most obvious ones). And yet, it intellectually doesn't phase people the slightest. "So what if we're taught that government is good and benevolent since a tender age". This is precisely because most of society does not function using first-principles. If they did, we'd be in a completely different world right now.

>You could argue that for almost anything that we have in society (Religion and the State being the two most obvious ones). And yet, it intellectually doesn't phase people the slightest.

Is that supposed to be an argument in favor of royalty? At best, it's about how other things people think OK and are used to from a young age are also messed up. One could use that line of logic to excuse all kind of societal issues at their time -- segregation, racism and sexism for example.

And yet, society evolved beyond those, from self principles like equality.

The commies wanted to build a society based on principles like equality but then some people turned to be more equal than others and corruption became so deeply rooted that it still plagues ex communist states today, 30 years after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.

>The commies wanted to build a society based on principles like equality but then some people turned to be more equal than others and corruption became so deeply rooted that it still plagues ex communist states today, 30 years after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.

So? The US also wanted to do the same (build a society based on "certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"). The French too during their revolution. As did countless other revolutions besides the "commies".

Didn't end that bad for most of them, in fact that's how the modern world was build.

Would you rather we still had Kings and Pharaohs lest "some people turn to be more equal than others"?

Why is having a monarchy that nobody voted to get rid of more democratic than having a president people voted for?

Why is your elected president hijacking the telephone network worse than your unelected queen hijacking your tv network?

Because the Queen's Speech is a 15-minute slot on one channel out of about 300, not a mandatory message any time anyone makes a phone call.

Also, if you switch over to Channel 4, you can watch an alternative speech. A few years ago, they had the President of Iran on simultaneously.


Think of it as if the Queen speech was about the excellent job the British people did on the Brexit referendum, defeating the traitors.

Currently, a little bit more of the half of the population supports Erdogan and the other half hates him. Though admittedly the anti-Erdigan half did not support the coup as it is believed to be orchestrated by another islamist, but still...

>Currently, a little bit more of the half of the population supports Erdogan and the other half hates him.

So, just like most politicians?

Yes, so? Do you have a point?

My point was that the British public would not be happy if the Queen used her time on TV to push the agenda of the half of the nation - like openly supporting or opposing Brexit using channels that are not available to the opposition.

You mean just like all other Democracies out there? Sure, it floats from 60-40, or 70-30 sometimes. But how is 51-49 any less authoritarian against the 49 vs the 30?

You vote for the parties in parliament. Then a government gets formed based on which party got the most votes. It's quite similar to Germany, which isn't a monarchy. However, the president of Germany is elected by Bundestag members and electors while the Queen is queen through birthright.

Phones are an essential service, TV isn't.

Because Queen doesn't have almost any real power.

>Yes. The UK could vote to abolish the monarchy, but they haven't.

How open is this issue for discussion? Is it acceptable for e.g. a BBC journalist to promote on camera the dismantling of royalty, if that's what they think should be done?

>A modern constitutional monarchy is a structure agreed to by the people.

Agreed when? The MPs are voted for every few years. Even the constitution can be amended and changed, for countries that have one.

Does the UK hold a referendum on the issue of keeping or abolishing royalty, at least once every generation?

You can't become a citizen of Canada, a country that calls itself democratic, without swearing allegiance to the queen.

The majority of Canadians became Canadian by being born there. Pretty sure the swearing wasn't coming from the new citizen.

Yes, naturally you can't "become" a Canadian citizen if you're born one.


Are you serious? Lots of people barely watch TV, and this was in ONE time slot. And you're saying you can opt out of calling? Don't you have friends, bosses, colleagues, etc you have to call?

Can opt out of being murdered on the street by staying in your house 24/7

"Forced death upon exiting your house is not even an issue, you can avoid it so easily!" - gonvaled, probably

To play devil's advocate: you can opt to not listen to Erdogan, just wait until he is finished.

I believe he's right, the Queen's message is similar.

Devils devils advocate here :) It's part of the nature of radio that you are in control of the channel, but not the message heard, as it's controlled by programming - the other kind of programming. This is dissimilar to telephone where a specific channel (number) is uniquely expected to reach a specific person, company, or household.

Thus the analogy breaks twofold. First, while the radio works as expected under these conditions, the telephone does not. Secondly, opting out means to take some action without affecting anything else than what you are opting out from. If you consider opting out in this context, it's clear that waiting can not be considered to be an action we take, and thus can't be considered a way of opting out, our waiting in line could be considered to be "opting out of standing in line", an obvious contradiction.


They have the moral high ground because a large proportion of their population isn't protesting against the monarchy or Queen.

Nobody(except you) deems it concerning that the TV is 'hijacked' once a year, and your concerns can be dismissed because they are motivated out of defending Turkish actions.

That's not a takeover, it's something the BBC could choose not to do if they didn't want to.


Sorry you feel that way but I think it is a fascinating example of governments interference in the communication channels.

I wrote the political information to give a context. The information is factually correct, it's not my interpretation except defining the message as a propaganda message.

They did play a message from Ergodan when you call any number but only for clients of 2 mobile operators: Turkcell and Vodafone. http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/telefonla-konusmak-isteyenlere-er... Link in turkish but it confirms what this post says.

Implementations for something as "innovative" as this are bound to be spotty early on. Is there even pre-existing infrastructure/services/software support in typical networks for stunts like this or was this something they had to build?

Did they need to involve their network infra suppliers? For Turkcell that's fully outsourced to Ericsson; network hardware, services implementation, ops, etc etc; pretty much everything below the customer service/marketing level:


Which means that maybe someone at Ericsson in Sweden ended up implementing this crazy thing some time the past week or so. :/

... makes me think about that mandatory engineering ethics class a long time ago.

Interesting question. Some Turkish operators provide a premium service that lets users play a message or some music to their callers while their phone is ringing.

I would guess that the same technology was used.

That engineer would probably be Greek since Ericsson has outsourced a lot of the dev work on MSC/VLRs there. I remember working on a feature that allowed a user to copy the music they listened while waiting and play it when someone called them.

As for the ethical implication there's none. This exact functionality would be extremely helpful in case of an actual emergency.

It's rather funny how things turn out in life: a Greek playing Erdogan propaganda over the cell network for Turks.

It's called "early media" and it's something standard, sometimes used to announce that the call will be charged at a premium rate and giving the caller a chance to hand up before the call begins and they get charged.

I should have known, an organization as complex as 3GPP couldn't not already have invented this :)

Which is even more interesting, considering there are only 3 real real (not a MVNO) operators in Turkey and only one not playing this message is Turk Telekom.

A company that was founded by the government, even now partially owned by the government.

The biggest private shareholder of the Turk Telekom is the Saudi Arabian Oger Telecom.

Maybe they did not play ball because of the Qatar crisis?


There are numerous reports accompanied with video recording as evidence.

I'll dismiss your report as it comes from an account created 20min ago and you don't provide any evidence.

But I hope that they came to senses and stopped playing the message, at least for the emergency calls.


I added many more links to solidify the evidence, including a link from BBC.

The age of your account combined with the factually wrong information that you provide indicates that you are spammer at best, govt. propaganda worker at worst.

I'm really sorry that the Turkish population is so divided and I am sorry for what Gulenists did to this country, it's just sad.

Interesting choice of article to presumably create an account in response to. What does the last part of your comment mean? People seem to be discussing the impact right now.


Credible sources on that overthrow thing please.

This is 100% normal for these types of situations.

Regardless of whether you are being sarcastic or not, you aren't really saying anything informative or provocative; this is probably why you are being downvoted

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