From the files of the absolutely ludicrous…
Turkey just blocked the official site of Richard Dawkins, a prominent evolutionist and author. Given how frequently Turkey seems to block sites, this doesn’t seem all that ridiculous on the surface. Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll find something far more nefarious.
Turkey banned Dawkins’ site at the request of Adnan Oktar, aka Harun Yahya, aka Islam’s most prominent creationist. Oktar, incidentally, is also a sex offender, prosecuted in May and sentenced to three years in prison (he has appealed and has not yet been incarcerated).
What seems like a case of Turkey kowtowing to a religious nut gets even worse when you look at Oktar’s history with censorship. In August 2007, Oktar managed to get WordPress.com banned in Turkey after finding WordPress blogs that contained insults directed at him (that blocking was later overturned), and later successfully got Google Groups blocked (the filter remains on one Turkish ISP).
Something’s fishy in Turkey. Why is it that Oktar can say whatever wacky anti-science bull he wants, but the second someone insults him he’s against freedom of speech? And why is the Turkish government so complicit in this?