Web Sites protest access ban: “A campaign has been initiated by elmaaltshift.com to protest a ban on accessing certain Web sites in Turkey. More than 300 Web sites — some of which are among the most popular sites in the country, including the English-Turkish dictionary zargan.com and sinema.com — are supporting the campaign.”
The campaign lasts until tonight so as to draw attention to Web site access bans. Upon first entering the site, all the sites supporting the campaign read “Access is denied by its own [the Web site’s] decision,” in imitation of what the screen says upon entering a banned Web site.
Some of them, such as zargan.com, redirect those who want to access their content and who want to learn more about the campaign to other links. “We think Turkey’s Telecommunications Department and courts are prohibiting the Web sites in a somewhat arbitrary and extreme manner. In order to draw attention to the threat that freedom of communication is facing, as a symbol we are blocking the access to our Web site until the night of Aug. 20,” reads zargan.com upon first entering the site.
Web sites with content deemed insulting to Atatürk or containing pornography, vulgarity or the promotion of gambling or suicide — all crimes under the Internet Security Law — are prohibited, while other sites are banned for no known reason. The latest Web site prohibited was gundemonline.com, which was banned by Ankara’s 11th High Criminal Court without any justification. YouTube has been banned since May. Turkey is one of four countries that have blocked access to the Web site; Thailand, China and Pakistan have imposed similar bans.