Journalism in Turkey has come under renewed scrutiny after an Istanbul court issued an international arrest warrant for two prominent writers living overseas.In a hearing against journalists linked to the Cumhuriyet newspaper, the 27th High Criminal Court said it would request the issuance of Interpol “red notices” for Can Dundar and Ilhan Tanir. The order notifies all Interpol member states that the individual has pending arrest warrants.Mr Dundar, the newspaper’s former editor-in-chief, and Mr Tanir, its ex-Washington correspondent, currently live in Germany and the US respectively.
Erdogan knows the laws of foreign countries at least as well as he knows his own. He’s found another “insulting a friendly foreign head of state” law on the books in the Netherlands and has successfully demanded punishment for this violation of a foreign law by a foreign citizen.This is an unacceptable turn of events. Just because the law is on the books doesn’t mean Dutch prosecutors have to actually prosecute anyone. Laws are broken every day, and even those incidents that law enforcement witness don’t always result in charges. For this person, there’s the possibility of a 6-8 month jail sentence for comparing Erdogan to Hitler, which isn’t that much of a stretch.
The Turkish government is seeking at least a four-year prison term for New York Knicks center Enes Kanter because of insulting remarks he made about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Twitter in May and June 2016, according to the Associated Press. And, yes, this is the world we live in in 2017.A Turkish judge issued an arrest warrant for Kanter in mid-May of this year, when an Istanbul-based prosecutor pointed to the 25-year-old’s social media account as evidence of his alleged “membership of an armed terrorist organization.” To which Kanter responded on Twitter: “You can’t catch me. Don’t waste your breath. I will come on my own will anyway, to spit on your ugly, hateful faces.”
Remember this image?That’s the meme that was (and still is) passed around on social media (rather gently) mocking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for looking kinda like Gollum from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Or, not even Gollum, but his nicer alter ego, Smeagol. Last we wrote about this, a Turkish court was assembling an expert panel to determine if that image is insulting to Erdogan. Since then, of course, we’ve learned just how insanely thin-skinned Erdogan is, having filed an average of over 100 actions against people for insulting him per month (how does he get any actual work done?).
Last week, a Turkish court ordered an access ban on a single post in the vast sea of more than 60 million individual blogs on WordPress. But for many users, that meant their Internet service providers blocked WordPress entirely.
A lawyer and Turkish Pirate Party member tracked down the root of the sudden ban on all of WordPress: a court order seeking to block a single blog post written by a professor accusing another professor of plagiarism. This post apparently led to several defamation lawsuits and the lawsuits led to a court order basically saying that if blocking the single post proved too difficult, fuck it, block the entire domain.
It is the second sentence in the order, however, that caused the complete ban of WordPress in the country. “If the access to the single page cannot be possible due to technical reasons,” it reads, “block access to wordpress.com.”