Archive for September, 2011


censorship in Turkey: freedom of expression

Turkey has one or two other problems apart from ultranationalist terrorist propaganda.  @brennawalks heard that, “really? Apparently Chuck Palahniuk is now on Turkey’s list of ‘suspect’ authors. Suspected of what?”  That reminded me to blog about censorship and freedom of expression in Turkey; they are issues that worry and alarm the Council of Europe Commissioner of Human Rights (CECHR) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Like my last blog on propaganda websites, this is probably tl;dr too – but once I’ve done the next blog on access to information, I’ll try to bring the three together in a shorter, more readable post.  Here, I review Hrant Dink’s work and murder; review the prosecutions of investigative journalists Nedim Şener and Ahmet Şık; note the persecution of Andrew Finkel, Orhan Pamuk and Elif Şafak; and summarise a failed attempt to sue academics for warning their students off genocide-denying sources.

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Turkey: Ergenekon propaganda websites trial

There has been progress in the prosecution of a “deep state” terrorist network in Turkey; or one of its tentacles, the Ergenekon gang.  Here, I want to focus on a trial for the publication of propaganda websites, because it encompasses cultural heritage information warfare.

But be warned, it is tl;dr – nearly 2,000 words.  I summarise the Turkish deep state, the Ergenekon gang and the propaganda websites; I review the evidence of command responsibility, and the sources of material for the websites; I list all 42 propaganda websites and their contents; then, finally, I show the websites’ influence on public opinion, their current status, and parallel propaganda campaigns within the Gendarmerie General Command.

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Libyan Whispers about looting: twice the churnalists, twice the trouble

On the community journalism website AllVoices, Indian freelance writer Nina Rai has very slightly rewritten Massive Looting of Ancient Artefacts Underway in Libya as Rare Ancient Artifacts Being Looted on Large Scale in Libya: Russian Scholar.

But with twice the churnalists, there’s twice the trouble.  Rai’s version has two significant, and worrying, differences: the unreliable witness is presented as (only) an academic; and the only claimant is represented as many.

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Libya: looting claims rejected; propaganda accusations not denied

I had already blogged my distrust of the claims of an archaeological crisis in Libya: Bombing, Looting; Lobbying and Churnalism. Now, Andrew Lawler has reported ‘Claims of Mass Libyan Looting Rejected by Archaeologists‘ in Science magazine. I’ve also found a Russian TV interview with Nikolai Sologubovsky, in which he does not deny propagandising for the Gaddafi regime.

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