Response to The Register story entitled “Turkey censors Reg commentards”

Response to The Register story entitled “Turkey censors Reg commentards” published on 28 October, 2009.

Dear Sirs,

I am the director of Cyber-Rights.Org based in the UK and its sister organisation Cyber-Rights.Org.TR based in Turkey. I am afraid the above mentioned story published on your website is completely inaccurate.

Currently access to at least 6000 websites are blocked from Turkey (see my report at http://privacy.cyber-rights.org.tr/?p=476) but I am afraid yours is NOT one of them. For whatever it is the Turkish government access blocking mechanism is transparent and the screen-shot provided by the reporter of this story is NOT an official website blocking notice. What your reporter came across is simply a filtering software used by whichever Internet Service he/she used. It is possible that the reporter accessed your website from an airport or from a commercial Internet provider or at a company office or most likely at an Internet case where a commercial filtering software was installed.

Therefore, your story inaccurately confuses the readers and gives the impression that my favourite news source The Register and its related news comments are censored from Turkey. This is simply not true and I hope you correct this story. Turkey gets enough bad press for its approach to Internet censorship but as mentioned above you are yet to be censored by the Turkish government!

All the best,

Dr. Yaman Akdeniz
Associate Professor in Law, Faculty of Law, Istanbul Bilgi University

The Register subsequent to my letter corrected its story on 04 November, 2009 with an update note:

Updated Note: The following story was based upon a mistaken assumption that the censorship as described was due to a Turkish governmental directive. That assumption was incorrect. The blockage of the pages discussed was instead merely instituted at a local level, and the pages were generally accessible throughout Turkey. The Reg regrets the error.

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