IMDB BanAccording to Advocate Gokhan Ahi, who wrote on turk.internet.com, the huge movie database site IMDB has been banned by the Turkish Court. The story is, the former-singer-now-director Mahsun Kirmizigul’s movie has been on the internet for download for a while. The company that releases the DVD of the movie (I guess) Boyut Yayin Grubu recently applied to the court asking for a couple of sites that allow the movie to be downloaded. According to Webrazzi, the sites include torrentturk.com, frmdivx.com, divxcity.org, turkdivx.net and imdb.com.

However, they have made a typo with imdb.com’s address, so they banned imbd.com, which is a parked domain that apparently tries to make money from advertisements when users type imdb.com’s address wrong. The ban, like the old ones on Youtube and WordPress, is DNS-bansed – which means it is easy to pass the ban by changing the DNS addresses.

The thing is, this court decision shows that neither the court nor the company that applied to get these sites banned know nothing about how things work on the internet. While the typo on the name IMDB is funny enough (I am leaving aside the fact that IMDB has nothing to do with piracy, and the fact that censorship is stupid in general), this also shows that no research, investigation and expert consultation had been done before the decision.


Two days have passed since the ban on Youtube. With a friend’s notice, I realized that I cannot view Youtube with my current modified DNS settings (ie, other than Turkish Telecom ones).

I tried to ping www.youtube.com but it all timed out. I tried Netvibes‘ Youtube search and it worked. Using proxies to reach Youtube works as well.

News at PcLabs (in Turkish) shows that the ban is no longer DNS-based – but IP based.

So, apparently; leaving Turkey, using a proxy or reaching Youtube from http://youturke.com/ are the only options for now.


Youtube banned in TurkeyYes, once again. It was first banned around a year ago, on March 7, 2007 – which was lifted two days later.

This is again a DNS-based ban, so it is no big deal to pass the ban. But, as you know, that’s not the point. WordPress.com is still banned, and probably this new ban on Youtube will get nice mainstream press coverage, so it will be lifted again.

<sarcasm>But you know, we should do better. I personally want a Turkish version of The Great Firewall of China. I want a new Turkish Google that pre-filters search results for me. Who would want to google the word ‘****’ anyway?</sarcasm>

Ah, and Turkish Telecom is probably happy now: a lot less bandwidth use, more profit and less users whining about the slow internet.

EDIT: Check out this post for latest news.


MusallatI read this in a newspaper a few days ago. According to the news (in Turkish), the filmmakers of the new Turkish horror movie Musallat asked for permission (the regular writing/payment thing) for their film poster to appear at bus stops and billboards in Istanbul. The reply they got was that the nude guy on the poster had sexual connotations and he had to wear something, so they made a censored version

Later news says that it was a joke (again in Turkish) done by some people at the billboard advertising company. If so, then where did those quotes in the news from the transportation section of the municipality come from? I don’t know whether this actually happened, whether the officials had to claim the opposite due to publicity of this news, or whether this was part of marketing the movie.

Interesting thing is that this is a typical patriarchal reaction to the viewing of the male body. Or, rather a fear of eroticization of the male body. After all, according to this male-dominated ideology, man is the looker and women is the looked-at, and you need to separate and maintain these borders.

The filmmakers must have internalized this fact a great deal since the language they use in the news only shows some surprise and not much else – as if they are saying “yeah, you are right.”

Well, the world we live in is pathetic.


Wordpress censored in TurkeyLike ten days ago, I learnt that one of the leading free-blogging services WordPress.com was blocked in Turkey. Censoring certain sites in Turkey is not something new: On March 7 2007, in a court case, Turk Telekom (leading DSL provider – well, the monopoly of internet in Turkey) had to ban youtube.com with the pretext that the site included videos disrespectful to Ataturk – the founder of Turkish Republic. The ban was removed two days later (probably due to all that press/online publishing pressure).

As for the wordpress.com ban, after a few days the ban was lifted. [You can read details of this and comments to it here] However, when I wanted to check wordpress.com again, I saw it is still inaccessable. When it was first banned and it was lifted after, we learnt that the ban was again DNS based (meaning you can avoid it by using non-Turk Telekom DNS’s but the average user won’t know these) and it was a mistake: they wanted to ban thesubdomaintobebanned.wordpress.com but they instead banned the whole site.

Now, I see the ban is still in its place and also a Turkish lawyer (or whatever) sent a letter to WordPress staff.

Well, this is crap!


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