Muslims suppressing atheism in Turkey

kellym78's picture

Yesterday I blogged about muslims attempting to take down pictures of their invisible friend on wikipedia via petition. Today we got a letter from the head of the number one turkish atheist site which has been stripped from the eyes of Turks twice. Once under the original domain and then again under another domain. Unfortunately, the owner is unable to fight this in court because to do so he would have to identify himself which if you're familiar will end up resulting in his head being chopped off by the peaceful and loving muslims who work for Allah. If you speak Turkish and you are an atheist please support this site...

Creationists control Internet access in Turkey

Ateizm.org , the most prominent non-profit Turkish web site on atheism and religions was closed for the second time in December 2007, under orders from a Turkish court. Ateizm.org was established in 2000 by three young Turkish atheists who devoted themselves to the enlightenment of Turkish people. Ateizm.org hosts an online discussion board named Ateistforum ( forum.ateizm.org), one of the busiest forums for the Turkish speaking online community over the Internet. Ateizm.org received 1000 visits a day at its peak when it was open.

Turkey is a land of many cultures, traditions, ethnicities and religious groups. We are proud of our recent secular past, for numerous reforms and accomplishments that took place in political, social and economic areas. Although statistically Turkey appears as 98 percent Muslim, 15 percent of Turkish population follows the Alevi tradition, a very moderate version of Islam. There are significant numbers of secular non-practicing Muslims and very small numbers of people belonging to other religions, agnostics, deists and atheists.

Many aspects of Ateizm.org is considered to be revolutionary for Turkey. First time in the history of Turkey every conceivable aspect of Islam is being openly, scientifically, honestly and courageously discussed and criticized. Over the years many thousands of articles appeared in the forum, many of which referred to the verses of Koran and Hadits. With the possible exception of Ilhan Arsel and Turan Dursun's studies, Koran had never been criticized in Turkey so much before. In addition to these short communications, numerous satires, short stories, poems, comments and lengthy articles were published. A few years after the inception of Ateizm.org, a separate science forum was established and started to enlighten young Turkish minds.

During its lifetime Ateizm.org was hacked three times and experienced some serious hosting problems. We survived all of them with flying colors and started over wherever we had left. Last year, however, our web site encountered a different and more ominous kind of problem. In June 2007, without warning, our web site was closed to its Turkish audience with a court order based on a legal action taken by a Turkish creationist named "Adnan Oktar" (now widely known by his pen name "Harun Yahya&quotEye-wink. Since ateizm.org was hosted in the US, it remained accessible from abroad, but inaccessible to its main audience in Turkey. If we hired a lawyer and challenged the court order, we probably would have won our case. But we do not want to disclose our identities. This is our biggest weakness. According to our lawyer, there is no way to take a legal action in Turkey and remain anonymous at the same time. Many Turkish intellectuals who were against Islam and outspoken about their views on religion were murdered by Islamic fundamentalists in the past. We do not want to risk our lives.

Since we were unable to challenge the court order, we chose to change our domain name to Ateizm1.org and remained in operation. However we were well aware of the fact that the dark force of Harun Yahya would follow us in this endeavor as well. Despite this, we did not want to change our style and language and continued to bitterly criticize a Turkish creationist organization called "Science Research Foundation" ("Bilim Arastirma Vakfi" or "BAV&quotEye-wink and its honorary president Harun Yahya. In December 2007 Ateizm.org (then called Ateizm1.org) was closed to Turkish audience for the second time by another court order.

Ateizm.org is particularly successful in debunking false claims made by BAV. BAV has international links, countless web sites and vast financial resources. BAV created their own version of Islamic creationism and they became very popular in Turkey and in other Islamic countries. During 2007 Turkish Telecom has been busy blocking access to many other web sites(*), including YouTube, but they had to back off from YouTube ban due to public outrage.

In August 2007 popular blogging platform wordpress.com was completely blocked by Turkish Telecom on the ground that a number of "defamation" blogs allegedly made "slanderous" remarks against Harun Yahya. This was also a court order. Harun Yahya, is the spiritual head of a vast Islamic apologist outfit in Turkey, which has reached Islamic publishers in London, Canada and the US. Though Harun Yahya is described by many as a "charlatan", he has made inroads with Muslims all the way from Indonesia to America. His books cover topics including refutations of atheism and Darwinism, romanticism as a weapon of Satan, anti-evolution pseudo-science, affirmation of miracles, and attacks on Freemasons, Zionism, Buddhism, and terrorism (Darwin's fault). Since around 1998, Harun Yahya's operations have focused emphatically on promoting Islamic creationism. Recently, his operations sent a glossy 770 page book about creationism to European and US scientists. This creationist movement has allied itself with the American creationists. In fact, in 2005, American taxpayers had to pay for a Turkish non-scientist creationist speaker who was allied with BAV to come and enter the debate on evolution in Kansas.

Majority of web sites that target unscientific claims made by BAV, particularly the web sites promoting free thinking, atheism and views against Islam, do not have sufficient resources nor influential power to create publicity for removing the Turkish Telecom ban. We believe in our cause. We will never be intimidated. We will never stop to enlighten our people. But we are realists also. We know and accept our limitations and capabilities. We also realize that European and American atheist and freethinking organizations do not have the same kind of problems we have, and in spite of their good intensions it would be almost impossible for them to help us in going through difficult times such as this one.

Despite our recognition of difficulties related to receiving international support from friendly and humanitarian organizations, we cannot help but draw attention to our growing problems. Obviously we need some sort of support and encouragement. In Turkey almost no journalist sympathizes with our views. Very few of them share our concerns and fears. We need more coverage in the press, and more scholarly writings about atheism, secularism and freethinking. But the Turkish Press in general is not interested in going against the popular Islamic movement in Turkey, which is on the rise. We are sure of one thing that we will never get positive media attention in Turkey.

However we also know that if Turkish media or Turkish Government is criticized in Europe or US, they listen and pay more attention to it. Becoming a full member of the European Union is crucial for Turks, therefore whenever issues related to democracy, freedom of speech, human rights and alike are raised in the West, they are taken seriously, sometimes even addressed by the government, particularly if the issue is something that affects Turkey's image or credibility in the West. Therefore it is vitally important that we find prominent international allies eager to support our cause by publicizing this issue as much as possible. We need a lot of noise!

The ban on ateizm.org in Turkey is yet another example of fundamentalist Islam gaining ground in a country survived as a secular democracy for well over half a century. Today secular forces in Turkey are struggling to protect democracy. Fundamentalist Islam aided by vast local and foreign financial resources is rapidly gaining ground. Therefore in Turkey, forces of "Secularism", "Democracy" and "Freedom of Speech" need all the help they can get.

If you want to help, you may make a plea for removing the ban on ateizm.org. Here is a list of organizations that you may wish to send your request:

Telecommunication Agency:

Telekomunikasyon Kurumu (www.tk.gov.tr)
Address: Yesilirmak Sokak No:16 Demirtepe 06430 ANKARA
Tel: 90 312 232 23 23
Fax: 90 312 294 71 45
Email: info@tk.gov.tr


Republic of Turkey Ministry of Justice:

Turkiye Cumhuriyeti Adalet Bakanligi (www.adalet.gov.tr)
T.C. Adalet Bakanligi, 06659 Kizilay ANKARA
Tel: 90 312 4177770
Fax: 90 312 4193370
Webmail: https://webmail.uyap.gov.tr/index.php


Turkish Newspapers:

Milliyet Gazetesi ( www.milliyet.com.tr)
Address: Dogan Medya Center, BAGCILAR 34204 ISTANBUL
Tel: 90 212 505 61 11
Editor e-mail: webadmin@milliyet.com.tr
tbengin@milliyet.com.tr

Aksam Gazetesi (www.aksam.com.tr)
Address: Davutpasa C. No.34 34020 Zeytinburnu ISTANBUL / TÜRKIYE
Tel: 90 212 449 32 71
Fax: 90 212 481 95 71
E-mail: haber@aksam.com.tr

Cumhuriyet Gazetesi ( www.cumhuriyet.com.tr)
Address: Prof. Nurettin Mazhar Öktel Sokak No:2 Sisli 34381 Istanbul
Tel: 90 212 343 72 74
Fax: 90 212 343 72 64
email: postakutusu@cumhuriyet.com.tr

News Agency:

Anadolu Ajansi ( www.aa.com.tr )
Anadolu Ajansi Genel Müdürlügü Gazi Mustafa Kemal Bulvari 128/C Tandogan/ANKARA
Tel: 90 312 231 70 00
Fax: 90 312 231 21 74
E-mail: ichaber@anadoluajansi.com.tr


Should you need more information regarding this matter, you may contact ateizm.org via administrator@ateizm.org

Footnote:
(*) Some of the web sites blocked by Turkish Telecom in 2007:

http://mfipb.com
http://antoloji.com
http://calinmisgenclik.com
http://calinmis-genclik.com
http://sozluk.sourtimes.org
http://gizliweb.com
http://19.org
http://superpoligon.com
http://adnanoktar.com
http://cevaplar.wordpress.com
http://yahyaharun.com
http://adnanoktar.wordpress.com
http://bilimvedin.blogspot.com
http://cevaplar.wordpress.com
http://kisiselgoruslerim.blogspot.com
http://ateizm.org

Atheist Books

Sapient's picture

It's easy to take for

It's easy to take for granted our ability to post about atheism in the majority of the world on the internet.  Every time we censor the thoughts and opinions of rational individuals we take one step closer to the dark ages.  Imagine for one moment no rrs website, and all of your favorite atheist websites gone from the net.  Now imagine that you send a note to the organizations above to try and have ateizm.org site reinstated.  Now imagine that you've done the right thing.

Feel free to post your letter or link to your blog on this story right here in this thread.  Help raise awareness. 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

Hello Kelly and Brian, We

Hello Kelly and Brian,

We have really serious problems with Harun Yahya and his sick sect. They are taking advantage of the flaws of Turkish justice system and they are using this as a tool for censoring anti-religious and atheist websites.

And thanks for your support. I hope one day we will get rid of this sick religious cult.

Best regards,

Da Vinci 

      The Real arabs !!

     

The Real arabs !! , 3 min video , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tCLjFwEOWs

.... some thoughts, from California,

Looking at the the mideast today reminds me of our own European history. The seperation of church/state and the Bill of Rights was a huge achievement. The Thomas Jeffersons of the mideast are being silenced. The TV / Radio is of course also muted.

I am ashamed of our own media today, especially TV, that presents a biased degrading image of the muslim world.

Think how easy it would be to make a documentry of stupid, ugly, selfish, addicted, sickly, greedy Americans.

Here in So. Cal. the muslims are wonderul. Respectful, clean, educated, and you will find almost none in prison.

Harun Yahaya is charlatan and a dangerous man. Here's some background of this impostor: http://www.mukto-mona.com/debunk/harun_yahya/

..... who invented the "Belly Dance" !!! .... http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=the+belly+dance&btnG=Google+Search

Smile

mr804's picture

Maybe someone could offer to

Maybe someone could offer to mirror his site? if it comes up again...

Sapient's picture

mr804 wrote: Maybe someone

mr804 wrote:
Maybe someone could offer to mirror his site? if it comes up again...

 

The site was up yesterday, now it seems to be down.  It's hosted in America and thusly we are able to view it, however it's FUBARED right now.

 Please get it back up for American-Turks!  Sad 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

Sapient's picture

Hello, After sending our

Hello,

After sending our letter to a number of organisations, we received
certain questions from a few of them, such as what the court order
said, what were their exact words, or if we could provide a copy of
the court order, etc.

I wanted to send this explanation to clarify our situation a little more.

We did not see the court order. Actually, we did not receive any
notice from any Turkish legal authority.

The only indication we have that this is due to a court order is we
know that the users in Turkey see a page that says "This page is
closed by court decision" when they try to access Ateizm.org.

There are technical means to get around this DNS server block, so many
of our users were able to change their DNS settings or use certain
programs to access our web site. Some of our administrators live in
Turkey and they witness this page too. (But they use those technical
solutions to access the site).

Actually, I do not know about the technical details, but there is a
way for people who are skeptical about this to see the page that
people in Turkey see. I can find out about this from our technical
administrator and let any interested party know if they would like to
actually see the page that mentions the closure.

When we were first closed in June 2007, we didn't receive any notice
or any warning.

When we were closed second time in December 2007, Adnan Oktar's lawyer
posted a message on our message board before the closure and told us
that we have "slanderous" remarks on our web site against his client
and asked us to close our web site, otherwise they will have it
blocked. They didn't even ask us to remove any allaged slanderous
remarks first. We replied him and told him that if he can point us to
any such content on our web site we would consider removing it if we
agree that this is not an honest attack.

The lawyer replied telling us that they will provide us with those
links and the closure would take affect only if we refuse to remove
them. But we never received his reply. He never sent those links. At
the end of December 2007, we were closed again with no other warning.

We think they are filing their complaint claiming that we insult their
client. But we don't agree that we have anything that would be
considered 'insult' on our web site against any individual. If
claiming that he misquotes evolutionists and that he misleads people
is an insult, then no intelligent discussion is possible. There may
have been some expressions used on our message boards by our users
that could be interpreted as insults, but they are against our rules
and removed by our moderators when they are seen. But they have to
stay on the message board at least temporarily until they are seen of
course. And some of them may have stayed indefinitely. But that is the
content of the message board, not the web site. We believe there is
nothing that attacks him personally on our web site. Even if there
was, closing a web site completely because of certain remarks in a few
articles among a thousand is not fair either. The court should have
asked us to remove any content that they think shouldn't be there. And
we never received any such warning.

Wordpress.com was also closed by them in a similar way. 99% of the
blogs wordpress.com has on their platform don't have anything to do
with Harun Yahya. But Harun Yahya's lawyer was able to have the whole
wordpress.com domain blocked by Turkish Telecom. (Please see
http://wordpress.com/blog/2007/08/19/why-were-blocked-in-turkey/ )

I hope this explanation answers some of the questions you may have had
when you first read our letter. Please let us know if you have any
questions regarding this matter.

Sincerely,
Ateizm.org admin

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

BeefontheBone's picture

Quote: Think how easy it

Quote:
Think how easy it would be to make a documentry of stupid, ugly, selfish, addicted, sickly, greedy Americans.

Where's Michael Moore when you need him? 

Aragon's picture

Blog on Ateizm.org ban news

Hi Kelly and Brian

We created a blog for Ateizm.org ban, and we'll keep it updated:

http://creationistsbanatheism.blogspot.com/

Thanks for supporting us Smile

Aragon

Ateizm.org Member

 

Religions poison everything -Christopher Hitchens-

Sapient's picture

Aragon wrote: Hi Kelly and

Aragon wrote:

Hi Kelly and Brian

We created a blog for Ateizm.org ban, and we'll keep it updated:

http://creationistsbanatheism.blogspot.com/

Thanks for supporting us Smile

Aragon

Ateizm.org Member

 

 

I did some things to support your site tonight, but I'm not gonna say what they are in public.  The muslims are logging in from Turkey and reading this post.  I don't want them to affect your ability to get traffic at this new blog you created.  If you want me to create a forum for you as a part of this site, I'd be glad to.  I can even investigate a turkish language pack that could translate this entire site for your readers and vice versa.

 

P.S.  To the sick muslims of the world: stop censoring and killing everyone smarter than you!!!

 

Stay strong!  

 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

Aragon's picture

Hi Brian First of all

Hi Brian

First of all thanks a lot again for your help and support. Many thanks to Kelly as well for covering our story in OpEdNews. You guys are awesome!

Currently there is no need for you to create a forum for us (thanks anyhow for your kind offer!). We've already undertaken various actions to open our site in Turkey.

Cheers

Aragon

Religions poison everything -Christopher Hitchens-

Aragon's picture

Letter from EU

Ateizm.org received a letter from "European Commission Directorate General Enlargement Turkey Team" on the 28 January 2008. The letter states that our concerns as regards the judicial proceedings in Turkey against the Ateizm.org website has been noted, and the European Commission will continue to follow up these proceedings in the framework of its monitoring of the Copenhagen political criteria for accession, and more specifically respect for freedom of expression.

The letter we received from European Commission has been a significant milestone in our struggle to get Ateizm.org reopened.
Read the letter sent from European Commission

Religions poison everything -Christopher Hitchens-

Sapient's picture

Aragon wrote: Ateizm.org

Aragon wrote:
Ateizm.org received a letter from "European Commission Directorate General Enlargement Turkey Team" on the 28 January 2008. The letter states that our concerns as regards the judicial proceedings in Turkey against the Ateizm.org website has been noted, and the European Commission will continue to follow up these proceedings in the framework of its monitoring of the Copenhagen political criteria for accession, and more specifically respect for freedom of expression.

The letter we received from European Commission has been a significant milestone in our struggle to get Ateizm.org reopened.
Read the letter sent from European Commission

Congratulations!  That's great news. 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

Muslims suppressing atheism in Turkey

My neighbor is a negro and I told him that I didn't like churches or religion and that my impression was that god was really a dog.  He couldn't agree and he said that if I were in a Muslim country that I would be killed for saying it.   

Turkey is a complex country

Turkey is a complex country one of the worlds very few consitutionally secular  (but 99.9% mulslim)and democratic (most of the time) nations. It unfortunately only manages this due to an over bearing military. It's really not in any one interest if the Ataturks experiment fails.

I remember having a beer in Istanbul among the 'star wars' architecture while listening to the call to prayer something you can't really do anywhere else in the world.

 

 

deludedgod's picture

Quote:My neighbor is a

Quote:

My neighbor is a negro

Jesus, can anyone say anachronism?

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism

HisWillness's picture

deludedgod wrote:Quote:My

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

My neighbor is a negro

Jesus, can anyone say anachronism?

Must be a second language issue. Third, maybe? Otherwise, we're a little beyond "anachronism".

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence

I'm a Turkish citizen and an

I'm a Turkish citizen and an atheist.  I feel so imprisoned that I cannot freely confess by belief without people talking down to me or the government persecuting me.  If I sent my views to a newspaper or any part of the media they would not publish it because they are either religious themselves or would fear the state shutting them down.  Anyway I'd probably be imprisoned or punished in some way too.  It's sucha sorry state of events.  This country was created as one of the world first secular progressive nations and should have acted as a beacon, but unstead it's own people's stupidity slow it down and the religious nut jobs in power make people think anyone who thinks outside the box are enemies and dangerous.  Thanks to these religious weirdos we now have more egg-head women walking in our streets than ever, and more parents filling their kids' lives with viral religion.

 

All I want is to be relaxed and free with my atheism and to be able to profess it happily when asked and for others to transmit their ideas freely in the press and on the net. And I certainly want the government to not persecute me for simply asking 'islam' to be removed from my id card.

Freedom for my country

 i want to send a message to all the Athiest Turks in Turkey , keep fighting the good fight , 

i am a 1st generation Australian Turk ,  most of us here are Staunch kemalists and as such we HATE ISLAM 

i know people are afraid of the millitary , but we will seriously be in the shit if they dont gain back power

 

your brothers and sisters overseas hear your anguish 

 

unutmadik sezi 

 

we have not , and will not forget you 

as my favourite t shirt says 

ATATURK  BIR ...ALLAH SIFIR 

 

keep strong , i love my country , my cresent moon , when we are free of Islam , we can truely be proud TURKS!!!