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Here comes the censor ship, with its cargo of cultural baggage. - Jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Scott

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Here comes the censor ship, with its cargo of cultural baggage. [Jul. 19th, 2008|10:20 pm]
Scott
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[Current Location |Constantinople, Byzantine Empire]

Mustafa "Ataturk" Kemal was actually a pretty cool guy, although spending while in Turkey might convince you otherwise.

Ataturk was responsible for replacing the corrupt, decadent, Islamist Ottoman Empire with a successful and prosperous modern liberal state. And he did it all while fighting off invasions by half the powers in Europe, at a time when most other Middle Eastern countries were degenerating into decades of corruption and ethnic strife. It's hard to find anyone, in or outside Turkey, who isn't profoundly impressed with what he's done.

At least I think it's hard. There's no real way of knowing. Because in Turkey, it's illegal to say anything bad about Ataturk. Even the slightest of insults, like mentioning his name rhymes with "Atajerk", could get you in trouble. I could get in trouble just for writing "Atajerk."

But the Turks take it much, much further than this. I wanted to go on YouTube today to watch one of ari_rahikkala's weird Straylight videos. Couldn't. YouTube is banned in Turkey. Why? There are rumors that foreigners might be posting anti-Ataturk videos on it. Just these rumors are enough to block the site from every computer in Turkey.

I wanted to see the new maps of Mar Sara in Shireroth's Landsraad. Can't. They're on Geocities. Geocities is also banned in Turkey. Also the sort of place foreigners might be posting anti-Ataturk material.

This doesn't just anger me. It confuses me. It confuses me because people are trying to force conformity to a belief that happens to be CORRECT. Who ever heard of people censoring something FALSE? I keep on looking through Wikipedia, trying to find some instance where Ataturk killed and ate puppies or something so I can feel like the draconian censorship regime in Turkey makes sense. But as far as I can tell, he never ate a single puppy, kitten, or any baby animal except the normal ones like calves and lambs that no one cares about.

I am forced to admit that the thugs who will lock up anyone who says anything bad about Ataturk are actually expending all that effort just to force people to hold a belief which, even if they let it rest, people would still hold anyway. And they're doing it to protect the memory of a man who was great because he opposed things like censorship and fascism. What a waste of time.

Atajerk.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: alphistia
2008-07-19 07:51 pm (UTC)
obviously they haven't caught on to the seditious dangers of livejournal...
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[User Picture]From: squid314
2008-07-20 07:33 pm (UTC)
They need to talk to Chına more, I guess :)
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[User Picture]From: yahalomay
2008-07-19 11:04 pm (UTC)
Atajerk

Aw, that's a bit passive aggressive!:p

Also, huh. If they keep this up, Turkey is going to start quietly hating Ataturk for something that's the opposite of his beliefs!
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-07-20 03:05 pm (UTC)
Hearts of Iron 2 leads me to believe Ataturk was once referred to as "The Great Turk". I haven't heard it anywhere else. Does Constantinopolis yield any clues as to whether Paradox Interactive just made that up?
-Benkern
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[User Picture]From: squid314
2008-07-20 07:33 pm (UTC)
I have heard "the Great Turk" used to mean the Sultan of the Ottoman Empıre on some very rare occasıons. I've never heard ıt about Ataturk, although hıs posıtıon was sımılar enough that ıt's barely possıble.
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[User Picture]From: minion_for_hire
2008-07-21 12:34 pm (UTC)
This is one of the things that's on the list of reasons why they are being held back from EU membership. It's a way down on the list, as there are much better reasons for doing so (their non-recognition of an EU member state being a big one!) Still, the cultural censorship doesn't help their case.
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[User Picture]From: squid314
2008-07-21 08:26 pm (UTC)
You have a lot of nerve waving an EU flag after what your country just did :)
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[User Picture]From: minion_for_hire
2008-07-22 10:06 am (UTC)
As I said recently to someone else, it's not because we don't like the EU that we voted no. (I personally voted yes.) In fact, in an EU-wide survey taken just after the referendum, Ireland came out on top in terms of satisfaction with the Union, with an 80%+ approval rating, IIRC.

I recently blogged about this one http://minion-for-hire.livejournal.com/25723.html The whole point about democracy is that you are entitled to stand up, be counted and say no, if you want to. It might not be very efficient, but it comes back to the classic Churchill line "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." Given that he said this after he'd just been voted out of power by the British people after the war, he knew what he was talking about.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-07-23 04:16 am (UTC)
Hmm...after reading up on it, Ataturk was actually a bitchin' guy...

I might have to question the Turkish people who own that food truck on campus about this...it's quite odd...

-Corey (Liam, Korey, blah blah blah I have too many names on the internet)
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[User Picture]From: moshez
2013-03-13 04:19 pm (UTC)
At risk of being Godwinned, Holocaust denial is illegal in Germany, a totally liberal Democracy. Unless anyone here thinks the Holocaust didn't happen, that's a something-False-censorship.

Germany is afraid of the neo-Nazis inside it, and Turkey is afraid of the Islamic radicals inside it, and they want to deny them outlets to gain more power.
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