Wednesday, March 21, 2007

YouTube, MyTake - Turkey and censorship

While the commentary may be delayed, I wanted to acknowledge the ironic turn of events that recently took place on YouTube earlier this month and brought into focus problems about the Turkish (and by that I mean government) reality.

While the original video was likely posted by an ill-educated man, the absurdity is that this act simply demonstrated that the Turkish government holds Turkey and its people hostage under third-world terms. To compare, the entire world alludes to sexually compromising assumptions when it discusses key Greek historical figures, from Alexander to the philosophers, but there is a greater recognition that no such discussion can diminish the greatness of their successes... neither does the government decree against the will of others to discuss their opinions.

It is fitting perhaps... one is known as the cradle of democracy - the other is still trying to (re)write its history.

While the Turkish government and its tourist boards employ high-brow PR and advertising agencies to lure tourist dollars, euros and yen to Turkey and lobbies the EU for membership, it simultaneously invokes laws into action that make freedom of speech a crime. The same law criminalizes the country's own greatest minds and insults the intelligence of its people by suggesting that they cannot partake in discourse to defend Turkish ideals.

What is the Turkish government so worried about? It's own people?

What's worse? In the global quest to democratize other nations, this bastardization of the democratic essence is accepted by silence... a benefit granted by the "Great Powers" - US, UK and others, and enjoyed by the Turkish government for all too long a time... just ask Armenians, Pontians, the diaspora of Smyrni and Constantinople...oh wait, asking is not an option... most are tragically gone.

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