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Turkey has blocked Google DNS access to Twitter (todayszaman.com)
299 points by _ks3e on Mar 24, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 144 comments

As a Turk, i'm just ashamed of our government.

Schools in Turkey teaches in geography classes that Turkey is a bridge between Asia and Europe. But this is also true for our social structure: We sometimes turn our face to europe, ass to asia and sometimes we turn our ass to europe and face to middle east. Our last 12 years was a sample for second statement.

(by the way, i'm sorry for my english skills)

Completely off-topic, but my pet peeve:

> (by the way, i'm sorry for my english skills)

If you feel the need to append this statement, that's a good sign that you don't need to. Your English is fine (should be "schools teach", not "schools teaches", and I wouldn't have used "sample for" there, but who cares -- it's clear and unambiguous). It's the morons who don't care that end up being painful to read.

> Completely off-topic, but...

If you feel the need to append this statement, that's a good sign your comment will detract from the discussion.

Touché :-)

Continuing further down your OT pet peeve: how would you distinguish between people who know their English isn't perfect and are sorry about it (without saying so, per your advice) and those "morons" who are unapologetic about the same?


I have noticed that people tend to jump on others language skills in an indirect attack on the person when its the idea they disagree with. For some it is easier to dismiss an idea they do not agree with by attacking the person than refuting the argument.

Working with many foreigners I have run into the apology style more than once, they have good standing and do not wish to be dismissed for merely bad language skills. I live here and my use of the language is atrocious.

I've noticed three classes of bad English. The apologetic folk, who will often try to explain things in multiple ways, or be extra-verbose, in an effort to get their point across clearly. Second, the unapologetically bad folk, who write a semi-incoherent sentence and respond poorly to requests for clarification (often simply repeating the same sentence). Third, the lazy native (or fluent) speaker. This is an entirely new class of errors, which is easy enough to read through (being native and lazy myself), but sends a strong signal that I shouldn't place too much importance on what I'm reading.

Well, for those of us who fine at English, we can tell. The hard part is for you to determine if you yourself are correct.

It's more useful to invite constructive feedback than to apologize preemptively; that's what I'd recommend people do. Add onto this that, culturally, Americans tend to appreciate such invitations more than they appreciate apologies. (I can't speak to other cultures; I'm about 99% certain there are some major world-spanning ones where this is not true.)

I wish there was an easy and unobtrusive way to invite people to correct my English. Would it be okay to state that every once in a while in my comments? My opinion is that people don't like it, not because it's rude but because it carries the conversation off topic. I also wish there was a way to send a private message here to remedy that but maybe that's me over-complicating things.

If you're particularly worried about a specific post (for instance, you're uncertain of the right word when there are several words with similar pronunciations/spellings, or it's just longer than a normal post), I'd say just ask in that post. And regarding off-topic conversations, I say "meh". Most threads get derailed by far less productive side-discussions. I usually like to tuck corrections into actual conversation anyways. Respond normally, and then as an aside (may be first or at the end) comment on the correct spelling or usage of a word.

Put the request in your profile, maybe? A lot of people won't look there, but it's not like you need a high volume of feedback.

Certainly you could mention it as an offhand every so often, but the important thing IMHO is to make clear that you're looking to improve your English skills, as opposed to apologizing for whatever flaws you might have in your English.

The latter is usually needless, and can even imply that not knowing English well enough should be a source of shame, which is why it often draws calls saying not to apologize. It'd be like a 2m tall person apologizing for not being tall enough – you're already taller than most people, there's nothing to apologize for. ;)

You've managed to take this thread exactly in the direction the author was hopefully planning to avoid :) disclaimer or no, there is always someone ready to comment on the english either way

Which is why it's better to just avoid mentioning it and just always communicate to the best of your ability (unless say, you can't the word you are thinking of and want to reach out for help).

And your English is much better than our Turkish.

Thanks for suggestions :)

I tend to put sentences into google in order to verify that the structure / grammar / spelling of my writing has been used before. This makes writing longs posts very tedious and annoying, but I'm way to afraid to make any mistakes. Most of the time I end up deleting the whole post, just to be done with it. I wish there were more people like you who don't look down on people with poor english skills.

Anyhow, can anyone recommend a book or some articles on how to improve writing skills, especially of technical nature ?

Check out the posts by Gayle Lakkmann on quora[0] related to common English mistakes (you might have to register, but it sounds like almost exactly what you are looking for). It is focused a bit more on mistakes common to those from India, but it is worth checking out. Your English is very good, and I have no trouble following your sentences. Through your use of commas, your writing actually "flows" better than many native writers whose work I read.

Also, I apologize profusely for some of our ridiculous grammatical rules. I'm a native speaker, so I don't think much of it, but I'm amazed at how poor some of the "rules" are.

[0] - http://englishtips.quora.com/

Exactly what I was looking for, thanks so much!

Sorry to interrupt you but I was about to say the exact same thing.

I spend lot of time in Athens, and I would say Istanbul is more european than Athens. Not sure about rest of the country.

İstanbul is where I call "home" but I still don't think it is European at all. Not when compared to Athens or anywhere I've visited outside Turkey. İstanbul is... İstanbul. Everyone living there has a strong love/hate relationship with it.

What could have happened to Athens in the last five years that I haven't been there that makes you say that? You mean in terms of freedom of speech? If so, I seriously doubt that.

Mainly driving and attitude of people. Greece is different... Freedom of speech is problematic in entire Europe.

That seems a weird claim to make. What is problematic about freedom of speech in Europe?

I've spent time both in Athens and in Istanbul. Neither of them are European nowadays. Unorganized dirty jungles... Istanbul has a difference though, it's an unorganized mega jungle.

I don't understand how this is being downvoted without any reasonable explanation.

Didn't downvote, but if you write something like that, provide examples. It doesn't really address the parent comment, either. If they're both dirty jungles, what does that say about whether Istanbul is more or less European than Athens? Wouldn't the culture have something to do with that, also?

You made a racist statement. "Unorganized dirty jungles" of Asia in contrast to, presumably, tip-top, spotlessly clean, perfectly organized European cities...

How big do you think is a percentage of those who oppose such censorship in Turkey?

Government (and their partisan supporters such as some journalists, representatives) support their decision with the same old "think about children" argument.

For example this man in the video is the Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication. He is the reponsible minister for internet in Turkey. Today some journalists asked him his opinions about Twitter ban and he responded "i will answer your question with another question. tell me what would you feel if someone opens a news twitter account with your wife's full name and shared photoshopped pics?".


Well, for your question: A lot of people saw that the ship is sinking and leaved it. The only people still supports erdogan are some business men who has some contracts with government, erdogan's inner circle and their base supporters who are mostly not well educated and don't have internet connection.

So, at least 40% of our country is against his censorship.

Most people are opposed to be censored. Not enough are opposed to censoring of others.

Bingo. This. Most people who are not mad about the twitter ban are those who are like "what is he supposed to do, let people perpetuate lies?" and "it's libel therefore it's okay to censor". But when they are limited in the same way, they get extremely angry (for example, when bloggers delete their comments, a practice I disagree with for the most part).

Apparently Erdogan only receives support from more rural and religious communities which is probably still more than 30% of the country.

He has got 15 million registered members for his party. mostly men not having any higher-education, minimum-wage government contract based workers. This way they feel like they are a part of a some bigger movement.

Turkey is not be a banana republic but their leaders are surely indistinguishable from such ones.

Wow, Turkey is really going nuts. I am surprised, because normally you hear "social media ban" and you think some dictatorship. One thing is certain, while this is going on, Turkey can kiss EU membership ambitions goodbye.

> Turkey can kiss EU membership ambitions goodbye.

Why? Single EU countries have widespread censoring infrastructure in place and IP-based bans are common and normal. They are just not at stupid to ban hi-profile sites yet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_Germany http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_France http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_Italy#In... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_Denmark http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_Repu... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_Unit...

Please note the common pattern of the justifications: censorship starts often with "terrorism/children abuse/pornography", then covers "counterfeit goods/media", finally "libel/hate speech".

Those are almost cases of illegal content being blocked or removed. Classified information, copyright violations. No one is having opinions or new repressed. Turkey is proactively silencing dissent that has no other channel. PM Erdogan was caught red-handed taking bribes and it seems the Turkish MSM is already intimidated into quiescence and now they try to block whole sections of the internet to hide the truth.

Turkey is also just blocking "illegal content."

In all these country, ‘hate speech’ is generally clearly limited to destructive and politically irrelevant things: nostalgics of the Third Reich are illegal out of respect for history, not because the government expects to be over-turned in the short term. Ireland and UK might have some more recent problems with ‘The Troubles’, but both sides can freely exchange political ideas (as long as its not to call for terrorism-grade violence). I’m not seeing Netherlands on that list, but a decade ago, they had an… interesting discussion on what to do with a political party that wanted to abolish sexual majority or ‘specism’ i.e. make pedophilia and bestiality legal. I’m fairly happy under-age children were not meant to have an open access to those arguments to be made believed “this is OK”.

I don’t have a problem with any of these. I have even less a problem when every country on your list has had recent, vivid debate on extreme speeches, and tolerated everything that wasn’t clearly in categories that unambiguously deteriorate political discourse.

I understand that this might shock some Americans who don’t understand it, but the overwhelming majority of Europeans would not even hesitate a second to refuse US-like free speech were anything goes, and Koch brothers finance everything, from blatant hurtful lies, attacks on science and fuel race-hatred.

I fully expect that this comment, like every similar one on Hacker News I made prior, to be heavily down-voted by people who have no issue with the form of what I say (polite, argued and relevant) but disagree with my opinion. Doing so goes against the principles of this forum, and you should be ashamed to think about it.

> In all these country, ‘hate speech’ is generally clearly limited to destructive and politically irrelevant things

Not really, see this example of "law stretching": http://boingboing.net/2011/10/05/italys-insane-internet-law-...

> This proposal, which the Italian Parliament is currently debating, provides, among other things, a requirement to all websites to publish, within 48 hours of the request and without any comment, a correction of any content that the applicant deems detrimental to his/her image.

> Unfortunately, the law does not require an evaluation of the claim by an impartial third judge - the opinion of the person allegedly injured is all that is required, in order to impose such correction to any website.

For a longer list of similar cases, have a look at https://opennet.net/research/regions/europe

> Conclusion: Today, Internet content in Europe is controlled by three groups of factors: region-wide organizations (the EU), individual countries, and companies (e.g., ISPs, search engines). While governments have been extremely active in promoting filtering technologies for child pornography and surveillance technologies for copyright infringement, they are increasingly finding that they can achieve their aims through indirect means. Rather than passing explicit regulations, governments have pressured companies to voluntarily self-regulate content, be it pornography, hate speech, or content that infringes upon copyrights. Such pressures show a creeping tendency toward the second- and third-generation controls found elsewhere.

Very well said. This, and the EU's encouraging the fascist overthrow of the democratically elected Ukrainian president has made me strongly opposed to the current form of European 'Union'.

Sigh. Part of the Maidan movement consists of militant fascists, yes. But that doesn't make the whole movement fascist and neither does it make the overthrowing of Yanukowich a fascist coup.

I know a bunch of Ukraininans (ethnic and Ukrainian-speaking), and they are extremely opposed to being any part of the "Russian sphere". Those 80 years of subjugation are not easily forgotten.

Ukraine was at a once-in-a-hundred years decision point and it was very clear that staying away from Russia was not possible with him in power.

Just because you are democratically elected doesn't mean that you can single-handedly decide to do anything you want. Or do you think Yanukowich was elected on a "screw the EU we-ll go Russia"-ticket?

As was pointed out at a UN Security Council meeting regarding the Ukraine crisis, the government wasn't overthrown. Yanukovych just left, first out of Kyiv, then out of the country, and that directly after signing the accord that would have settled all of this. And of course, all of that after actually killing many of the non-violent protestors.

What makes them fascist in nature? I'm fascinated by your use of the word.

He's probably referring to considerable fascist elements in the Maidan movement. The Right Sector[1] and Freedom[2] (formerly called Social-National Party of Ukraine). The former is "just" fascist, and the latter is neo-nazi.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_Sector

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svoboda_(political_party)

Well, you know, 'fascist' nowadays can mean 'anyone who takes a hard stance on something I'm against'. It's pretty much a branch of Godwin's Law.

Erdogan, in practice, gave up EU membership a long time ago. He initially used that mirage as a wedge to remove old power structures... and then replaced them with his own Islamist versions. In the last 5 years, I don't think EU membership for Turkey has ever been seriously brought up in mainstream debate (in Europe, at least).

Erdogan is just a tinpot dictator of the Islamic variety, but he seems to be happy to keep in NATO a country that is absolutely critical for NATO operations in the Middle-East, so we keep pretending he's just a "conservative-minded" democratic leader. Unless Europe is happy to give Putin's supporters more ammunition for "double standard" arguments, it's time to call a spade a spade.

In all fairness, many EU leaders are scared shitless of Turkey. It is not so much that they have something against Islam (well, at least most of them), but they are acutely aware that Turkish society might blow up once the power of the military is reduced to a sufficient degree.

Nobody knew what exactly could/would trigger chaos in Turkey, but there are many candidates: The Kurdish question, the post-Kemalistic resurgence of Islam, the Alevites...

I sincerely hope that these expectations were to pessimistic. If Turkey could somehow "capture" all its societal tensions within the framework of a stable parlamentary system, we (both Turkey and the EU) could greatly benefit from Turkish accession.

> In all fairness, many EU leaders are scared shitless of Turkey. It is not so much that they have something against Islam (well, at least most of them)

If they aren't, many of their voters are, and the question of the demographic weight of Turkey is a real one, considering how awkward the political aspect of the EU already is. Not to mention that I can't imagine many politicians fighting to share a border with Syria at the moment.

i disagree with EU leaders scared of Turkey. They just want Turkey to behave more like a civilized country as Turkey is the bridge between Europe and the rest of the Muslim world.

But with the way they are acting, they are not really helping out much. All the scandals left and right, the Kurdish and still holding under military occupation half of an EU country ( Cyprus ) then that is not how a democratic country should rule.

Exactly how democratic it is is very much in question: http://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/halil-gurhanli/c...

It's a good example of how pluralism is a more important aspect of democracy than the actual voting. People like to complain about the US two-party system and condemn obvious one-party states, but the reality of a lot of recent or fragile democracies is that they are one-and-a-bit party states. There's an establishment and an opposition, and the opposition are allowed to exist but have a limited influence on actual control.

For an example of this, look at how the ANC has dominated South African governance for the last 20 years, and the cost that's had in terms of corruption and development of civil society.

I wonder whether or not it'd do any good to enshrine opposition factions in a government. I have a vague notion of requiring budgetary support, but I can't really imagine any specifics I'd be happy with.

AFAIK, opposition parties (and political parties in general) haven't been included in any constitutions at all.

#thoughtexperiment #whimsy

I think Turkey has a lot more complex issues before they can be seriously considered as a EU candidate:

- Occupation of Cyprus (EU member state) populated mostly by Greeks (Greece is EU member as well) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_invasion_of_Cyprus)

- Armenian Genocide of 1915. 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Turkish government, because of being Christians.

21 Countries and 43 U.S. states have recognized the Armenian Genocide. Turkey denies the Armenian Genocide.


They constantly suppress rights of Kurds.

Yes, no other European country has any similar issues. Greece should close its borders immediately to prevent us barbarians from entering the EU again!

Seriously, I agree that Turkey needs to do a lot to rise up to the European standards but I don't think it helps the conversation to bring these sensitive issues up every time you see the words EU and Turkey in the same sentence.

edit: Dear down-voters, I understand your sensitivity on the issue but please try to understand what I'm arguing against. I actually accept the Armenian Genocide, and support Kurdish rights, and the rights of any other minorities. What I'm arguing against is this continuous flame-war. See my other comments on those issues if you challenge my honesty. Thanks.

Many other countries had or still have difficulty coming to terms with their past: France until relatively recently with its colonial past, the UK (or so it seems seen from continental Europe), Japan with its numerous warcrimes during WWII, Algeria, or even the US. I can understand why repetitive, double-standard bashing would become tedious after a short while.

The problem with this sensitive issues is that they are still un-resolved. Unfortunately your goverment does not want to do anything about them and keep on doing what they fucking want.

When Erdogan steps down, and hopefully a more civilized, non-military person takes over then nothing will change.

In the mean time, Kurds are still gonna suffer, Cyprus will still be divide in half, and everything else that they keep on doing.

As I said, every country has issues. A never-ending flame-war (which continues with someone mentioning Macedonians, you mentioning Cyprus, someone mentioning the massacre of Turkish in Cyprus, you mentioning the massacre of Greeks in Cyprus and so on; you know the drill - and please don't keep commenting on these, everyone can Google them) doesn't help anyone. We as regular citizens just increase tension between ourselves. I have Greek relatives too like a lot of people whose ancestors have been in İstanbul for many centuries. I love Greece like many others. Please stop making these issues a campaign against Turkey and the Turkish people.

I think, one should at least read the paper before sharing.

Just to add another perspective to whom read yours comment:

-So called "Armenian Genocide" is not acclaimed by Turkey and the allegations imply the predecessor of Turkey, the Ottoman Empire.

Only then, even if you accept this as a genocide, you should at least consider removal of Germany as a member from EU. Quote from the link you provided: "and it is the second most-studied case of genocide after the Holocaust"

Holocaust (which is definitely not just an allegation): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust

I don't think that the Armenian Genocide is an allegation and the fact that you put it between quotes just makes your "perspective" seem biased.

The issue itself is not only about the genocide / the crimes against humanity but also how the country handled it after.

In the case of Germany, since you brought it up, they fully recognise their deeds and don't try to deny it among other things.

This is of course only step one and Turkey hasn't event reached it.

The denial is the problem - the fact that people who do not live anymore committed a genocide is certainly nothing that people living now should be held responsible for. But a nation has to embrace its history even if it was a predecessing state - the Third Reich is different from today's Germany as much as Turkey is different from the Ottoman Empire.

If you deny Holocaust publicly in Germany you are in serious legal trouble - but in Turkey it is the opposite - you are in trouble when you publicly claim that a genocide on Turkey's terrain took place.

This is a problem with the Kemalistic approach to history and Turkey needs to fix it fast, because it poisons self-perspective. I distinctly remember one day back when I was in school (in Germany), when a Turkish student stood up during a history lesson and declared that the Kurdish question was "bullshit". He went as far as to call in question the existence of the Kurds!

The Armenian Genocide was not part of the curriculum back then, but I wonder what would have happened...

I totally agree.

The reason I'm referring it "so called" is because I'm an engineer who didn't read any material on the subject. I don't have enough knowledge to assume it's fact or not. And I don't think it's right to believe anything without reading varied sources.

And the denial should be taken as a political issue that is decided and said by government.

I pointed it, because it's not right to assume all Turkish people think the "armenian genocide" is fictual, in the same way not all the Turkish people want to block Twitter or Google DNS.

Yeah... the difference being the Germans said "We fucked up sorry"

While the Turks stick to the story that all the Armenians woke up one day and said "Hey! How about we abandon all of our land and go march into the desert to die?"

Just to give yet another perspective.

You seem to imply that the Armenian Genocide is not a fact but an allegation. Well just as an example, here is an quote from the wikipedia article that was shared:

'Volkan Vural, retired ambassador of Turkey to Germany and Spain[...]states that, "I think that, the Armenian issue can be solved by politicians and not by historians. I don't believe that historical facts about this issue is not revealed"'

It is an old story and the events of the genocide are known well enough for it not to be an allegation anymore. Right after your own quotation was written: "The word genocide was coined in order to describe these events"

"you should at least consider removal of Germany as a member from EU"

I don't think removal of Germany should be considered based on what was said here since Germany acknowledged their genocide and provided excuses in several instances as well as money.

I hope I understand you wrong because it seems "acknowledgement", "money" and "excuses" makes a genocide ok.

And I don't imply it as not a fact, I imply mine knowledge doesn't have enough variance on the issue and being a EU member doesn't require clean records.

Turkey is not a follower of Ottoman Empire, it's a modernization and revolution product of it.

This deserves an equal judgement as numerous other countries with violent histories already have.

Indeed you understood me wrong but maybe I wasn't clear:

People who committed the genocide have already been judged by History (And obviously it is wrong). The people living now in Germany and Turkey have not committed a genocide. However the question I want to ask to the people living now is: would you do it again? Germany clearly answered no. While the Republic of Turkey is not providing an adequate answer to this because it denies having done it.

I understand that Turkey and the Ottoman Empire are two different things. The same is true of the Germany of 1940 and contemporary Germany.

"being a EU member doesn't require clean records". Obviously. Otherwise nobody would be a member of the EU. It is not the clean record but the acknowledgement that makes the difference which is all I was pointing out.

Ok. I wish you can believe me when I say that there is still an uneducated and "religion over logic" minded people in Turkey and our governments use these people.

But on the other hand, there is a great crowd who understands the need of educated people and logical responses to these matters.

I just find it hypocritical to blame all the people of a country without any detailed knowledge but with only common phrases (which is possibly mined from a biased relative). This is a common phrase for a Turkish people and I find it difficult to believe all the people who told this phrase to have been researched the subject from varied sources.

At least I wish, more educated people who only talks when they know something for sure or open to suggestions to write here(hackernews) at these sensitive topics. Not the overheard people, just to avoid misinformation.

I totally understand your concerns and indeed when we speak about the Republic of Turkey we are not speaking about all Turkish people.

Many in the EU don't want a member state that utterly denies the scary reality of that state's not-too-distant history.

Irrationality is a scary thing, especially at the level of a national entity like Turkey in complete denial of the slaughter of over a million people.

Those in the EU who don't want Turkey joining aren't against it because of a historical genocide. They don't want Turkey joining because it's a 100M-strong muslim nation with a 'non-european' culture. The other muslim nations in Europe are tiny Balkan nations with no political nor economic power, and no opportunity to gain. Turkey has both political and economic power and opportunity to gain in both. And it would be the most populous nation in the EU, therefore gaining a powerful voting bloc.

In the light of that, a government that is set on increasing religiosity (particularly of a 'non-european' religion) and is having internal troubles because of that issue, isn't particularly looked on as a valued EU partner. Consider also in the light of the anti-liberalism that's currently rising in Europe, as far right wing politics picks up on a rising fear of immigrants in general and muslims in particular.

The EU's fears are looking forward, not looking back.

> In the light of that, a government that is set on increasing religiosity (particularly of a 'non-european' religion) and is having internal troubles because of that issue, isn't particularly looked on as a valued EU partner.

Well, that's clearly part of it, but the release of the tapes appears to be a gift from the Gulen movement, who don't appear to be much more appealing than the current crop of corrupt islamists, or the previous crop of corrupt nationalists.

> The EU's fears are looking forward, not looking back.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. If you're saying that racism and fear of difference play a major role in pushing Turkey away, sure. Though it should also be clear that Turkey is doing itself no favour with the current ban. I hope you're not trying to say that a religious, socially conservative government with a hand in the till should be the future of Europe.

Personally, I'd be in favour of deep political reforms in the European governance mechanisms before further enlargement in any direction. The notion of economic advantages has been pushed forward so much that it has resulted in the weird, undemocratic system we have now, and as a result each new crisis is an opportunity to demonstrate the lack of political unity of the member states.

I'm not sure what you mean by that.

I mean that the fear of Turkey in the EU is about factors other than ignoring or papering over past misdeeds, and those factors are mostly based around what will happen if Turkey joins the EU. Whether the fears are realistic or not, it's about what will happen, not what has happened.

After all, Belgium killed a great deal many more Congolese than died in the Armenian genocide (and horrifically maimed many more), yet Belgium is the administrative hub of the EU. I don't think that the difference in acceptance between Belgium and Turkey boils down to Belgium recognising that past misdeed (which has seen no reparations, as far as I am aware).

> I mean that the fear of Turkey in the EU is about factors other than ignoring or papering over past misdeeds, and those factors are mostly based around what will happen if Turkey joins the EU. Whether the fears are realistic or not, it's about what will happen, not what has happened.

Ah, yes, we're in agreement.

> After all, Belgium killed a great deal many more Congolese than died in the Armenian genocide (and horrifically maimed many more), yet Belgium is the administrative hub of the EU.

My understanding was that most of the abuse occurred when Congo was the personal property of the King of Belgium, as opposed to the Belgian state, so that's not completely comparable (I would imagine that the cost of ensuring that any compensation goes to the family of the victims and not anywhere else would dwarf the amount of compensation to pay...).

The EU's fears are looking forward, not looking back.

There is no non-naive way to look forward without first looking back.

Unlike the disclaimer of most financial investments, past performance is indicative of future results.

Armenian Genocide of 1915 was just the first one committed by Turkish Empire (Ottoman Empire) in 20th century, Turkish government repeatedly slaughtered their own citizens, who were not ethnic Turks.

- Greek Genocide that took place from 1914–1923 resulted in death of 700-900.000 people. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_genocide)

- Assyrian genocide 1890s, 1914–1918, 1922–1925 resulted in death of 275-300.000 people. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyrian_genocide)

- Bulgarians were victims of brutalities as well. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batak_massacre)

They were mostly Christian minorities.

We're not enough killed, or was it the method of extermination that makes you say "so called"?

Nope, our ancestors just decided one day that it would be a great idea to abandon their ancestral homeland in Anatolia and die in the desert.

Hopefully because Turkey is "democratic" they'll simply vote out the idiots who made such short-sighted decisions.

Democracy is not pluralism but people with enough money/connections can keep abusing the ignorance of the masses on any subject to gain so much power that they stop caring about the minorities. My political knowledge is very limited so I wonder what kind of measures exist in modern democracies to fight that? Is it just a matter of education? And, what happens when education becomes just another tool for propaganda?

>Turkey can kiss EU membership ambitions goodbye.

Probably all the better for Turkey.

I doubt that. Turkey would be better off in the EU as would Ukraine or at least the popular opinions of common people would suggest. Turkey is in NATO so it's a completely different ball park to Ukraine.

They would be better off economically and culturally. Europe is more harmonious than the the other spheres of influence surrounding Turkey namely the Middle East and Russia.

Nope, not the case. The Turkish economy is very strong, and the workforce is young and energetic. If Turkey joined the EU, the aging European population and the crumbling economies of Greece, Italy and Spain would be a drag on the growth of the Turkish economy.

Essentially, the only major benefit EU membership would give Turks is the ability to freely travel around Europe without needing passport visas.

While workforce being young and energetic is helpful, it's not the sole reason of someone's economy being strong. I'm pretty sure most African countries have way younger population.

It's not like Turks already don't go to Germany to work.

And maybe free access to a huge market to sell all the goods your growing economy produces to!?

The Turkish economy isn't going to remain strong if they keep doing stupid things like this. The free flow of information is vital to the growth and sustaining of an economy.

I think Erdogan sees China as a model for the future, as a provider of cheap labor. So, Turkey doesn't need to intellectually integrate with the rest of the world.

That's actually our greatest hope. If foreign investment dries up as a result of political instability, enough people might stop voting for him that he might be outed in a semi-democratic process (if he doesn't rig the elections as usual, that is). Otherwise, things will end in violence.

Really? What do you say about China?

When you have 1.5 billion people the game is played at an entirely different level. One which Turkey is highly unlikely to reach.

and have every single kind of mineral deposit in the world, with some that are only mined there.

China is on a completely different level as oblio already said :)

There's a big difference between being able to travel to a country without a visa, and being able to freely emigrate there, which is what EU membership provides. Turkey's economy may be growing, but the GDP per capita is a quarter that of wealthier countries like the UK or Germany.

Joining the EU would also give Turkey a seat at the table. Turkey has a large population, and would therefore get a large representation at the European Parliament.

> They would be better off economically

Considering the experience of Spain, Italy, Portugal, Italy, etc. in the EU thus far, I highly doubt that conclusion.

Are you contending that the EU did not have a huge positive influence on the Spanish economy from the time it joined the EU until the economic crisis? The fact that the Spanish government, much like the Irish, let a bubble form, isn't, as far as I know, the fault of the EU. I agree that the current policy of austerity is an extremely bitter pill to swallow, but seeing the influence of the EU on the southernmost member states only in light of recent events is mistaken.

Of course, it is possible that you simply dislike market economy, but that's a very different debate.

Here's an excellent run-down of the inherent flaws in the EU institutional arrangements. http://www.lrb.co.uk/v14/n19/wynne-godley/maastricht-and-all...

tl;dr everyone can't be a net exporter at the same time

Those experiences are commonly attributed to the EMU not the EU.

I tend to agree. Though the carrot of EU membership has been instrumental in motivating a few, minor reforms, mostly it just becomes a distracting process (for both parties). It was the dream of Ataturk that Turkey be a European nation, but it doesn't seem particularly plausible now.

> I am surprised, because normally you hear "social media ban" and you think some dictatorship. One thing is certain, while this is going on, Turkey can kiss EU membership ambitions goodbye.

If only it was that easy. Dutch ISPs were forced to censor The Pirate Bay, but we're still in the EU!


From Turkish Medical Association's press release:

“There is the interest lobby behind Gezi Park protests.”

“They had alcohol in Dolmabahçe Mosque.”

“They assaulted my sisters covering their hair.”

As physicians we are following with worry the discriminating, stigmatizing and polarizing discourse adopted by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since Gezi Park protests.

We were actually appalled hearing what he said yesterday in Gaziantep about Berkin Elvan.

Normally, no one would try to bring two families both losing their child in confrontation. Normally, no one would declare as “terrorist” a 15 years old child shot by police while out for buying a loaf of bread and lost his life after 269 days of struggle for survival.

Normally, no one would slant playing marbles as if they were cannonballs to fire.

Normally, no one would provoke a rally crowd to protest a mother who lost her child only two days ago.

We are physicians.

We know about to many psychological and emotional states of human beings.

We are worried about the emotional state of Prime Minister Erdoğan.

We are utterly worried.

Indeed worried about himself, his close circles and our country.

And we share our worries with public.

It's cute to watch an sliding-into-autocracy government trying to implement internet censorship without the infrastructure. Mr. Erdogan, call Cisco, see if you can get a discount on the China Package.

The scary part is that with the recent restructuring of the internet law, the new telecommunications communications directorate (TIB, yeah kinda redundant) is supposed to be starting deep packet inspection, which is rumored to be the reason why the internet has been slower recently ...

I have a site that receives >200k daily uniques from Turkey. I feel like I should put something up to tell my Turkish users about how to get around their government's Internet blocking, but I'm not sure exactly what to put up. Is there a link for this specific purpose? Should I just give them a link to Tor?

I think hola.org would be a good recommendation - it's a free p2p proxy service. I used it to watch hulu and it worked quite well with a simple UI.

Is hola really a p2p proxy? I thought it just inserted a proxy.pac into Firefox/Chrome to do whatever it wanted with your web browser. Either way, it might be good for watching streaming video, but I wouldn't trust it somewhere that Twitter is blocked.

You can use hola against cencorship.From reading a bit around the web, it seems that most of the time it does work in china, the country with the most advanced censorship tech.

Tunnelbear is providing free Giant Tunnelbear package for people from Turkey[1].

It is easy enough to use and gets the job done perfectly.


If you can afford the bandwidth, put up a mirror of the Tor executables and also consider becoming a Tor bridge.

I think Tor is probably the best option. For now, I've just put up a link[0] to the Turkish short Tor manual[1]. As far as I can see, the Turkish government hasn't block the Tor project's site yet(?). If they do, but they don't block my site, I'll look into hosting a download myself.

[0] http://imgur.com/MSXfVyH [1] https://www.torproject.org/dist/manual/short-user-manual_tr....

I wonder if disconnecting people from the Internet is enough to bring down the government. Has that happened anywhere yet?

I think this is a good read on why digital censorship was a catalyst in Egypt's government transition, though certainly not enough to take much of the credit for it: http://abolitionistpaper.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/networking...

Iran quashed its spring revolt, but Mubarak didn't. I think parallel to purported policy goals and idealologies, any ruler or single administration lives to see the next day from a combination of institutions and patronage stacks. Those details probably matter more than a sudden attempt to kill the internet in deciding a regime's fate, though it's certainly not a sign of strength.

A regime with enough support can wipe out thousands or millions of people, and a single well-publicized massacre or act of outright corruption can precipitate a complete loss of legitimacy.

In Egypt, you could say controlling the population through grain subsidies is a double edged sword if there's ever an interruption in the supply. The tribesmen on camel proved to be a pretty weak constituency contrasted with the military as an Egyptian institution with allegiances to the population at large, and a senior leadership that ultimately would resume power without its former figurehead. Nominally, it was mass grass roots protests that overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood, which wasn't owed credit for the overthrow of Mubarak anyway, but "we'll do you the favor of carrying out a coup if you put x many people in Tahrir square," is much more like a behind the scenes coalition between interest groups than an embrace of democratic principles. That the groups still had the institution of the military to carry it all out, then quietly implement more effective controls on dissent, meant that the revolution might as well never have occurred, as long as your name isn't Mubarak and there are no more shortages in food.

In Iran, it was more of a challenge to decouple the regime from a specific scapegoat without undermining its legitimacy. Maybe it is less resilient if any flaws or corruption are openly acknowledged. And yet, there is probably a lot of national solidarity and pride implicit with the revolution (1979) and the war with Iraq. Not only were there more thugs, and they were on motorcycles rather than camels, but the Revolutionary Guard is probably both a patron of the regime and an institution that is respected and gets significant, automatic respect on its own. It may simply have been that the more dynamic classes of society simply didn't have the real power necessary to upset the status quo regardless of restrictions on internet or filming of abuses.

In Turkey, the last decade has seen the very steady dismantling of the military as an institutional check on government. I don't think this is the same as 'proactive' governments dismantling institutions like an independent judiciary, a free press, or erosion of conventions on privacy and freedoms from surveillance that you see in places like Pakistan and the United States. The mechanisms for a military veto are almost always extralegal, and no matter how meritocratic advancement within the officer corps is, it's fundamentally anti-democratic. And yet, what has he done with consolidation of power around a more unitary executive? Instead of fostering the growth of more legitimate institutions that would ultimately strengthen the country and cut down on corruption, he seems to have focused on his own patronage stack, whether that involves cashing in public space, or squashing opponents. There is some irony that the allegations against him many very well be as trumped up as some of those against former military leadership, but possibly, equally in service of the ultimate public good.

All that said, ineffective attempts to shut down communication probably cause much less harm than making a bigger show of firing artillery into Syria or shooting down jets to gin up nationalist fervor.

Anyway, that's my hamfisted attempt at a background for coming up with a 21st century theory on revolutions, probably rife with inaccurate characterizations. So maybe restrictions on the internet can impact general prosperity in ways that rob regimes of their legitimacy, and they're definitely not a sign of strength. However, we can be pretty irascible on issues of liberty, and yet we're pretty slow countering threats to the free flow of information, or the creation of new tools for cronyism.

Kaddafi could stand 30 days after he banned twitter and Husnu Mubarek could stand 18 days after his prohibition. Now it's time for Erdogan!

Strange ,no reaction from Obama on this one... ;)

Not strange at all. Turkey is in an interesting position of being quite comfortable with the US, Russia, and the Middle East, and China. The only major world power that Turkey is not in good graces with is the EU.

Turkey is also a massive nation in a very militarily strategic location -- if it were to destabilize then things would get ugly very quickly. With Libya and Syria in such recent memory, toppling a government is no longer appealing at all.

Wait, how did simple access to google DNS circumvent their twitter ban?

They had blocked twitter... merely by removing it from some DNS servers that they thought were the only ones used by people in Turkey? Or something?

That seems like a particularly ineffectual way to try and block twitter. And I don't understand, if they have the ability to _actually_ block Google DNS... why don't they just do the same thing to actually block twitter?

This makes no sense, I must be missing something. Anyone have the scoop?

Removing routes from ISP DNS servers nationwide is often the first step in blocking content. It's easily bypassed if you know what you're doing, but most people don't and are stuck. China did this circa 2004, and AFAIK a lot of blocks in Vietnam are still done like this. I doubt Turkey has the infrastructure that more advanced censorship regimes like China and Iran use, so it's something of a poor man's solution (especially in a world of apps on mobile where the end user has no control over how data is fetched over the network).

Google DNS being just two IP addresses makes it a lot easier to shut down without collateral damage.

Probably because blocking Google DNS is 2 just IPs? If you can "force" most people to use your own DNS, it's far easier to implement blocking via DNS. Otherwise, you're left playing whackamole if a company adds new frontend machines.

Except there are an indefinite number of other DNS servers, free and with a contract, that Turkish users could use too, from an indefinite number of different vendors. It's a heck of a lot harder to block "any DNS server that isn't under Turkish government control" than it is to block twitter.

We can all speculate, but really I was hoping that someone had some additional information, perhaps because they are in Turkey, on what's going on exactly.

(Is it too much to expect discussion of technical details on HN, instead of political bickering? On anything involving Turkey, anywhere on the internet, yeah, it probably is. The reason why I'm curious about technical details is, of course, because I have an interest in knowing how to circumvent and help people circumvent whatever censors are up to these days).

I imagine that if you wanted to block all DNS queries not going to government DNS, you put a block on packets routing to port 53. This is going to hit a lot of businesses that use their own DNS systems though. It would be harder to do a wide-ranging-but-not-total block, methinks, but I am not a net admin; I don't know the feasibility of mass port blocking.

Mass port blocking is easy. Not so hard and less disruptive is DPI of all port 53 traffic, blocking only requests for Twitter. In addition, you block the IP address range of Twitter to foil the smart-asses who use hosts file.

Time is ripe for a P2P real-time people-network. Outside first world, Twitter has been playing a pivotal role in helping people counter oppressive regimes & lack of democracy. But this may not continue for long.

Edit: Ripe = not just for making it but adopting it as well.

> Time is ripe for a P2P real-time people-network


Looks cool, Hopefully more people pick it up. Does it have much traction with any particular demographics?

VPN's or other DNS server's would work better.

VPN's definitely help. There's an effort now to purchase them for journalists in Turkey: https://unblockturkey.fightforthefuture.org/fight-censorship...

twitter's IP block also blocked, so other dns servers dont work either. VPNs are quite OK now.

Good news is you can change hosts file

Actually title should have been "Turkey has blocked Google DNS to access Twitter". Because Google DNS is working fine for other sites.

IIRC google dns is banned in North Korea. :)

And China, sort of. is blocked in mainland china, but is not.

Not sure where you are in China, but is not blocked for me here in Beijing and everywhere I visited - Shanghai & Hubei province.

Ah, the slippery slope. What's next?,, or has that been done already. Hey everybody in the world, this is how dictators stop free speech and tighten control on their people. Technologists need to think about these things going forward in all the work we do.

Blocking and, Google's public DNS servers, is exactly what this article is about.

“Twitter has knelt down [before the Turkish government]. [We are a] nation in love with its independence. And [enhancing] this is what Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has done. We are no banana republic.”

Wait, what?

"We are no banana republic. And by no means are we a pineapple republic. We are a complete fruit salad."

This will end well.

If the government shuts down the internet

keep calm

and shut down the government

Nice turn of phrase, but I hope you do realize that this is being attempted, and has been for quite a while now.

Easier said than done.

Internet access is a privilege, not a right, just like driving a car /s

That would be correct we were living in 1990s. Today blocking access to social network can be interpreted as direct violation of right to communicate.

I see a vision of the future... where Turkey plays "whack-a-mole" with the worlds DNS..

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