Freedom of Speech (and the lack thereof)

posted in Media on August 18th, 2007

Normally, I refrain from posting entries that contain a political message, even if it is only remotely political, but this one really deserves some air time:

According to Matt Mullenweg’s blog, Turkey blocked access to, Automattic’s hosted blogging service.

Earlier this year, YouTube was blocked because of a video that insulted Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Insulting the founding father of that Nation, apparently, is a criminal offense, punishable with a prison sentence. The interesting thing though is that the video was not posted by a Turkish national, but rather by a Greek critizen.

During the past couple of years, Turkey has struggled to gain admission to the European Union and they have done a great deal to improve various shortcomings situations for which I commend them.

However, it really does make me wonder if a country that kills access to a blogging service because it does not agree with the views stated on said site has the right character to join a community as diverse as the European Union.

After all, the motto of the EU is “united in diversity”. Thinking about the recent events regarding freedom of speech in Turkey, I, for one, am unsure how the European diversity compared with the Turkish way of dealing with journalists (and those that dare to voice their opinion) could possibly fit together in a peaceful way.

For the record, I do realize that the way the government acts does not necessarily resemble the way many Turks would act, but when it all comes down to a black and white picture, the government was elected as a representative of the Turkish citizens …