"As long as I don't write about the government, religion, politics, and other institutions, I am free to print anything."
~ Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais
~ Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais
YOWZAAA! Turkish trouble on the Internet, from Zone-H.org and Info-Turk:
A bill has been recently approved in Turkey as a countermeasure against indecent broadcasting and online gambling. This measure will give the national Information technology Security Agency the authority to block any broadcast that is believed to threaten state security, as stated in Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code.
As reported on January 4th by the Turkish web newspaper Yeni Safak, the approval of the bill has re-opened the debate about freedom of expression on the Internet in Turkey because according to the new draft , the IT Security Agency will work as a sort of “huge eyes” with the task of suing any violation of the controversial Article 301.
[ . . . ]
Amnesty International considers that the attempt to draw a distinction between criticism and denigration is highly problematic...especially on the Internet, where people is used to express their opinion quite “freely” in forums, blogs and other digital spaces.
Turkish web surfers are now seriously threatened by constant intrusions in their private “digital life” and they could be persecuted for any action that in some way could be considered as against “Turkishness”.
As with all law in Turkey, the key lies in interpretation. What is "Turkishness?" What is "denigration" and how does it apply to "Turkishness," the state, the parliament, the military, or any of the other sacred cows of the TC? How do those definitions and interpretations square with another stipulation of Article 301, which says: "Expressions of thought intended to criticize shall not constitute a crime"? What is criticism? What are the criteria for proving intention? In Turkey, everything can be interpreted as "denigration" of the state, and usually is.
It was back in July that the HPG website became officially restricted inside Turkey by order of a Turkish court. Not to worry, however; you can still get there from here.
Penalties applying to Internet violations of the infamous Article 301 and the TCK (Turkish penal code) include the following:
Broadcasts made over the internet in contravention of Article 301 "Denigrating Turkishness, the republic, the institutions and organs of the state," which so many famous people have been tried under: between six months and three years in prison.
Crimes in Chapter 4 of the Turkish Penal Code headed "Crimes Against State Security" if committed via the internet can be punished by up to life imprisonment.
Crimes committed against the constitutional regime if committed via the internet will be punished according to Articles 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315 and 316 of the Turkish Penal Code and can include life imprisonment.
Publishing via the internet terrorist organization announcements and statements according to Article 6 of the Counter-Terrorism Law will incur between one and three years in prison.
For more on the TCK and freedom of the media, check a 2005 OSCE report on the subject. For something on how the new anti-terror law affects freedom of expression and the Kurdish people, see IFEX.
In other news, we have the 2006 war totals from the PKK. . .
Hêzên Parastina Gel, PKK's armed wing, reports 484 Turkish terror operations against HPG in 2006, with 472 HPG operations in retaliation. Joint Turkish and Iranian operations against the Kurdish people's defense forces totaled 12 for the year. The total clashes resulting from these operations was 419. 853 members of Turkish terror organizations were killed by the gerîlas of HPG, including Village Guards and police. Of HPG gerîlas, 131 became şehîds for Kurdistan in 2006. One Turkish soldier defected and joined the HPG in protest against Turkey's continuing Dirty War against the Kurdish people.
According to Hêzên Rojhelatî Kurdistan (HRK), the armed wing of PJAK, the Iranian army launched 33 military operations against HRK in Iranian-occupied Kurdistan during 2006. 115 pasdarans were killed and 55 wounded. Five HRK gerîlas became şehîds for Kurdistan in 2006. On 25 occasions, the Iranian army launched attacks against HRK in the mountains of Kurdistan and the Kurdish gerîlas responded on 15 occasions, attacking permanent Iranian army installations.
Man . . . what every neocon in the West spends all their time dreaming about, our hevals in HRK are actually doing--killing pasdarans.
Berxwedan jîyan e û jîyan berxwedan e!