Saturday, April 2, 2011

This Blog is Censored in Turkey

Tap, tap, tap. Is this thing on? I'm not sure. Because I can't physically see my blog.  You'll have to tell me if you can.  I'm physically prevented from seeing what I write here so I hope you can read it. I just now figured out how to get a post on my blog through a blogging "back door."

I haven't posted in over a month.  That hasn't happened in the three years I've been writing this blog because there has been so much I've wanted to share in my traveling adventure.

As many of you know, I moved to Istanbul, Turkey last summer and have thoroughly enjoyed myself here.  I'm a bit behind in blogging about my adventures because well, a move is disruptive, and time-consuming. Turkey itself is a fantastically-interesting country with incredible history and beauty. I can't wait to tell you about it!

Right now, however, my blog and any other bloggers using Google's Blogspot domain are being censored in Turkey.  The story printed in the papers was that one person was illegally streaming football matches over his blog and a judge ordered not just his blog shut down, but the entire domain! Blogspot gets 18 million hits a month in this country alone. I sincerely hope you aren't a Turkish person trying to run a business on your blog cause you've been out of luck for over a month now.  I can't even imagine how frustrating that would be!

Now I'm American so I don't know much about football.  I've watched one game in my life, the final of the World Cup, and it was enough to convince me that I don't need to know too much more about football.  Yawn! Geez, it's slow.  But a game is over in one afternoon, right? I have no idea why this censorship continues. One of my American friends said, "well, maybe that guy wasn't streaming a football game, but a cricket match.  Those go on for weeks, right?" 

So here we bloggers sit.  Still censored.  Maybe it's because I'm a librarian and we librarians are constantly making sure the public has access to banned books.  Maybe it's because I spent so much time in formerly-Communist Prague and I find the idea of repressed society unable to express their opinions so compelling and worthy of my advocacy.

The effect of this banning was annoying at first, but now it's starting to feed my ego. I never would have thought to put "being censored" on my bucket list, but hey, now I can cross it off the list as "done! Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt"  What could we all have to say that merits this silence? Why, I do believe my blog is samizdat (the Russian name for literature that doesn't have the official seal of approval so it has to be self-published)! How wonderfully romantic. The librarian in my loves the idea of "Banned in the 'Bul!" Somebody ought to make T-shirts and sell them.

Another thing the librarian in me is giggling at: I'm not the one doing the shushing here!


Jill said...

Boo, censorship! Keep up the blogging, anyway! =)

Karin said...

Good to hear from you! I thought maybe you decided to stay in Sweden! :-) Michael and I are coming to Prague in the fall, saying our goodbye's to Greece. Been here 10 years...and still can't speak Greek (very well)! said...

Karen - Congratulations on getting around the censor. However, your recent experience is yet another example of why Turkey is far from being ready to become a member of the EU.

Whilst I can appreciate your frustration that someone misusing the Google Blogspot domain to illegally stream football matches, (well done for not calling them 'soccer matches'!), has fouled up your blog, your comments about both football & cricket are horrible American clichés! Football and cricket are the two most watched sports in the world. The main problem that Americans have with both sports is they aren't very good at playing either of them very well themselves! Or I should say, American men are not very good at playing them as the American women's football team is one of the best in the world.

Of course, there is an event, much loved by Americans, called World Series Baseball. But note where all the teams who play in this event, come from. They all come from the USA & very occasionally from Canada. Clearly World Series Baseball is run by some of the 80% of Americans who don't possess a passport & who think that the USA is the world & that Canada is the 51st state!

More seriously, (though I do think that many Americans do need to take note of what I've written in the previous two paragraphs), why don't you consider moving your blog from Google Blogspot to your own domain hosted by a hosting company. My blog & all Sybille's domains are hosted by who offer very good service at a very reasonable price. And yes - they are an American company based in Houston, Texas. At the same time, you could also move to using WordPress as Karin & I do which I personally feel is much superior to Blogspot.

Whatever you do - keep on blogging as I for one thoroughly enjoy reading what you write even if I occasionally take issue with the odd remark!

b said...

I hear from my son in China that Google is catching a lot of flack from the government there. BLOCKEDBLOCKEDBLOCKED!!! We just don't realize how free we are in the US. I am sorry about your reading you.



Connie said...

That is so annoying! I remember when I first moved to Istanbul, YouTube was banned. I'm not a big user of YouTube, but still, I wasn't happy that I couldn't access it IF I wanted to. Hopefully the Blogger ban will be removed soon enough! In any case, your blog is still looking great!

Sher said...

Hi Karen,
Congrats on having a banned blog! I guess that means CZOBP is also banned there! Oh well, I'm happy to see your blog from here, and enjoy reading about your adventures and perspectives about your life in Turkey.

I agree with You might think about buying your own domain. That way you don't have to worry about being banned, and have more control over your blog! WordPress is also a great platform.

Good luck! I'm looking forward to reading more about your life and adventures there!

Have a great day,

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