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.
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".
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
AFAIK, opposition parties (and political parties in general) haven't been included in any constitutions at all.
- 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The Armenian Genocide was not part of the curriculum back then, but I wonder what would have happened...
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.
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?"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
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...).
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.
- 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.
- Bulgarians were victims of brutalities as well.
They were mostly Christian minorities.
Probably all the better for Turkey.
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.
Essentially, the only major benefit EU membership would give Turks is the ability to freely travel around Europe without needing passport visas.
It's not like Turks already don't go to Germany to work.
China is on a completely different level as oblio already said :)
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.
Considering the experience of Spain, Italy, Portugal, Italy, etc. in the EU thus far, I highly doubt that conclusion.
Of course, it is possible that you simply dislike market economy, but that's a very different debate.
tl;dr everyone can't be a net exporter at the same time
If only it was that easy. Dutch ISPs were forced to censor The Pirate Bay, but we're still in the EU!