Posts tagged ‘censorship’


Lebanese authorities suspend Ashkal Alwan founder-director Christine Tohme’s passport

The good, the bad and the inevitable

In November 2015, I was lucky enough to be invited to Home Works, an arts forum at the Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts (Ashkal Alwan) in Beirut, Lebanon. Ali Cherri and I discussed matters from the invention of ruins to the end of the national museum.

read more »


Archaeologists, concerned citizens and their families are harassed and threatened by metal detectorists in the UK

Violence against cultural heritage workers, and law enforcement agents who protect cultural property, is a grimly recognised problem in insecure places. And it is at its worst extreme in places such as Syria and Iraq. But it is not only a problem in those places. Threatening (and endangering) behaviour is a feature of the heritage “debate” in secure societies as well.

read more »


‘Anyone caught carrying a map or book using those names’ may be fined or imprisoned

Anthropologist Rebecca Bryant has highlighted that the Greek Cypriot-administered Republic of Cyprus (RoC) ‘unanimously passed a law that criminalises the use of Turkish names given after 1974.’ To put that in practical perspective, I would have been fined or imprisoned during my PhD for doing my PhD. Some of my publications are now illegal. Get them while they’re hot!

read more »


Agenda? What? Retraction? How?

Nearly four years ago, I blogged a basic analysis of antiquities in the Severis Collection. It didn’t draw much attention or any comment. Last week, the launch of an edited book on Heritage Crime, in which I had a chapter on Cyprus, led to renewed interest in my work on the island. (I’ve also published a peer-reviewed journal article on analysing the illicit antiquities trade.) Someone found or traced that old blog post. They alleged that I was ignorant and had an agenda. And they requested that I apologise for and retract the post.

Perhaps the anonymous commenter read it in an F pattern. Regardless, their comment was misleading and I will not retract the post. I will, however, explain the commenter’s errors. I will also demonstrate that, inexplicably, the content of the comment actually supports the post. And, while it may be a product of bureaucracy rather than Machiavellianism, I will show that the Greek Cypriot administration has erased certain inconvenient statements by Greek Cypriot archaeologists from its website.

read more »


the politics and morality of the ban on Armenian Genocide denial in France

In this post, I want: to think about whether French laws against genocide denial are motivated by politics, economics, or morality; to analyse official French and Turkish rhetoric; to review a few examples of reaction in the British press; and to highlight one absurd instance of local implementation of a non-existent law.  Warning: it is tl;dr – more than 2,000 words.  (At the end, I have summarised the past decade of Franco-Turkish diplomatic dispute over history law/hate law.)

[Update: France has passed the law against denial of crimes against humanity.]

read more »


note: democracy on trial in Turkey

Having explored censorship in Turkey – in terms of freedom of expression and access to information – sadly, it is no surprise to read:

The Christian Science Monitor has asked, “is model Turkey sliding into totalitarianism?” The answers do not make encouraging reading.

read more »


censorship in Turkey: access to information

Sorry I’ve been so quiet for so long – I’ve been applying for all sorts of jobs, and writing a book review, and lazy.

A couple of months ago, I discussed the production of false information and the denial of freedom of expression.

Here, I want to talk about the (closely connected) denial of access to information, literature, art, culture (1); the imposition of ignorance and orthodox thought.

read more »


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.

read more »

%d bloggers like this: