Blog 09

2008-September-25

Turkey Bans Richard Dawkins' Website

If you think someone has insulted you or says something you don't agree with, put cotton wool in your ears and seek a court injunction to get the offending website censored (not available in all countries)

I read on the Guardian newspaper website with absolute amazement, that Adnan Oktar who writes under the pen name Harun Yahya has succeeded in persuading the Turkish courts to ban all free Turks and other residents in Turkey from viewing the official Richard Dawkins website in Turkey. Visitors to this, and an alarmingly high number of other websites banned in Turkey, are presented with a page saying in bold red “Bu siteye erişim mahkeme kararıyla engellenmiştir”, which translates to “This site has been blocked by the court”.

Apparently Dawkins, an eminent British biologist and popular science writer allegedly made comments on his blog that Adnan Oktar considered ‘violated his personality’. In an ideal world where any individual is at liberty to voice any opinion on any topic an equal freedom exists for those who do not agree to deny or put forward any opposing viewpoint.

Anyone who propels themselves into the public domain by publishing their views, beliefs or opinions should have the guts to stand up to criticism, true, false or mischievous and enter into rational, intelligent discussion without resorting to support from the courts and to censorship.

Oktar, by his actions in getting Richard Dawkins’ website banned in Turkey, is in effect saying to the Turkish people, 'because I think I am right you must believe everything I have published, you have no right to view any critique of my work'.

It was only the Guardian article that drew my attention to the works and beliefs of Adnan Oktar as I had never heard of him previously. After a brief look at Adnan Oktar's website and the publicity surrounding his banning of the Richard Dawkins website in Turkey he may well have earned himself yet another critic.

I've now had time to read a little of what both Adnan Oktar and Richard Dawkins have published, it soon becomes apparent that one bases his views and opinions on fact and the other on fiction. It's equally obvious after reading several examples of their respective works which one may be deluding himself.

At this point I would like to thank my nephew Joe, for introducing me to the existence of Richard Dawkins, he sent me an email for no other reason than to inform me of yet another instance of Internet censorship in Turkey. On closer examination of the writings of Richard Dawkins I discovered a treasure chest of information much in line with my own personal thoughts over the past few years. And I suppose I must, in a perverse sort of way, also thank Adnan Oktar for starting the ball rolling in the first place.

For more information about Adnan Oktar visit the not so flattering Wikipedia entry here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harun_Yahya. (before it's banned). After reading some of Adnan Oktar's writings, and that's a generous word for them, it's obvious his motif for producing such controversial diatribe is to obtain publicity for his dubious causes. I for one will not fall into that trap, my opinion starts and ends here since further research is not worthy of my valuable time.

Richard Dawkins main blog may be banned in Turkey, but these links (among many others) that relate to his work are still accessible in Turkey:

 

 

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