Petition against internet censorship in Turkey

internet petition

On the evening of 5 February 2014, the Turkish parliament voted into law a series of measures that will tighten government control over the Internet, give it unrestricted access to users’ online activities, and increase its ability to block online content arbitrarily, without a court order. Parliament passed the measures without any broader consultation or sufficient expert input.

The law comes on the heels of countrywide anti-government protests in 2013 and amidst a high profile corruption scandal implicating senior government figures, much of which has been playing out online. The new legislation would severely restrict the dissemination of information, which the government deems to be against its interests. The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, expressed his contempt for social media on a number of occasions, calling networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook “the worst menace to society” at the height of last year’s protests.

For more info and to sign the petition, should you wish to do so:

Related posts:


There are hundreds of petitions open, at any given time, against one thing or another in Turkey, thousands in the rest of the world. We don’t often disseminate the petition links. We wouldn’t have time to write anything else. 

However, this one is important for the existence of sites like translatingtaksim. Not only that the law may ban the access to this blog from Turkey but also make it impossible for blogs like this to be online in the country. 

Seeing the freedoms of speech and freedom of access to information are the fundamental right underlying the ability to make / contribute to / oppose any policy in any field, we are sharing this petition. 

Turkey losing positive perception in the Middle East

Positive perceptions about Turkey in the Middle East have decreased of late, with the sharpest drops registered in Egypt and Syria, according to a poll released yesterday by the Turkey Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV).
Conducted for the fifth time, the TESEV poll shows a considerable drop in Turkey’s popularity over the course of the last three years. While 78 percent of respondents had a positive view of Turkey in 2011, this ratio dropped to 69 percent in 2012, and to 59 percent in 2013.

For full article on the results:

No lesson learned:EU envoy says

“It is unfortunate that it was undertaken without waiting for the final [court] decision.,” Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, Head of the Delegation of the European Union, told a group of journalists yesterday when asked about Ankara Municipality’s decision to launch the construction of a controversial road project crossing the ODTÜ campus.

For full article see:

United in Silence and Protest

It’s a common mistake made by almost all in developing countries that their problems are more complex than others, the solutions are more difficult, no one understands them, everyone is out to get themand no one cares for them. Well, maybe the latter is more often true than the other sentiments.

This is based on my own experience, anecdotal evidence and my readings of research. Who am I? Not an expert or a (wannabe) politician, just an ordinary person.

…..Just like all other ordinary persons (everyone basically who have been on the streets across many countries for seemingly different but essentially te same fundamental reasons….

Don’t take my word for it. Read an interesting long-view of protests across the world here

While written back on July 1, 2013, it holds the mirror to deelopments since and contains food for thought for a constructive and peaceful future.

Amnesty International reports on the Gezi Crackdown

Taken from:

The report on the Gezi Crackdown that was released today, available here in English and here in Turkish, is comprehensive and compelling, detailing the extent of police violence, ranging from beatings, to promiscuous and unlawful use of tear gas and water canon, to sexual violence. It highlights the urgency of the attack on freedom of expression and assembly and the continuing nature of police impunity from prosecution. And it highlights the extent to which the crackdown continues to target perceived enemies.

Amnesty staff and volunteers in Turkey, along with Amnesty researchers, risked their own health and safety to produce an accurate account of events in Turkey. It is richly detailed, fully sourced, and absolutely damning.

I’ve broken down components of the report on the main Amnesty USA blog site, Human Rights Now and that blog will be released later in the day. For now, you can read the report (linked above) and watch the video that was released alongside it.

Support for two of many prisoners in Turkey


In December 2009, human rights lawyer, writer and PEN Turkey member Muharrem Erbey was arrested in Diyarbakır, south eastern Turkey. More than three and a half years later, he remains in prison awaiting trial – which have hearings on 16 September – 20 October 2013.

In a letter to PEN to mark the Day of the Imprisoned Writer (15 November 2012) Erbey explained his detention thus:

I have been incarcerated for the last three years… because of the speeches I have made on human rights and the peaceful resolution of the Kurdish issue at parliaments in Britain, Sweden, Belgium and at the UN in Geneva. My speeches and comments never contained words of violence.

For more info:


Petition for Ayse Berktay

ayse berktay

On 30 April, prominent translator and cultural and women’s rights activist Ayşe Berktay won the 2013 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. But she was not there in New York to accept the award. Instead, she is currently in jail in Turkey, awaiting the next hearing of her trial, which opens 9 September and will take 10 days. She could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Police arrested Berktay on 3 October 2011, and she was eventually charged under the Anti-Terror Law with “membership of an illegal organisation” for allegedly “planning to stage demonstrations aimed at destabilising the state, plotting to encourage women to throw themselves under police vehicles so as to create a furor, and attending meetings outside Turkey on behalf of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK),” a banned pro-Kurdish party.
Anti-terrorism legislation has long been used by the authorities to justify the jailing of writers, publishers, journalists, academics, and politicians in Turkey. In November 2012, a PEN International delegation visited Ankara to express concern about the alarming rise in prosecutions of writers and journalists in the last two years, noting that more than 70 writers and journalists are currently in prison, and at least 60 other writers, publishers, and journalists are on trial.

For more info and petition:

Amnesty International: Stop shipment of tear gas to Turkey!

All countries should suspend shipments of tear gas, armoured vehicles and other riot control projectile equipment to Turkey until the Turkish authorities can guarantee protesters’ right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, Amnesty International said.


For the full call, see:


Also see Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT):