Tzedek-Tzedek blog has been quiet for the past week, as I was blocked from accessing it during my visit last week to Turkey.

Tzedek-Tzedek shows following message in Turkish:

Bu siteye erişim mahkeme kararıyla engellenmiştir.

Which means “This site has been closed by Court Order.

Although I think what I have to say on Tzedek-Tzedek is important, I must admit to being rather surprised that a court in Turkey had decided likewise.

I tried another blog, Rafi Goldmeier’s Life In Israel, and found that his blog had also been closed down by court order.

A little further digging revealed that ALL blogs hosted by “Blogspot” had been banned by a Turkish court.

According to Huriyet Daily News, the case apparently revolves around a blogger who had allegedly infringed copyright belonging to Digiturk, a Turkish Satellite TV station.   

“The ban, which entered into force Feb. 28 following a court decision, was issued based on a complaint by satellite television provider Digiturk that matches broadcast on its Lig TV channel had been illegally posted by several Blogger users.”

According to a friend of mine in Turkey, such sweeping measures against internet sites are common in Turkey. Google itself went down for a while, YouTube was also banned for several months.

The origins are not political, apparently, having their source in Turkey’s penal code.

“Thousands of websites are banned in Turkey under the framework of Turkish Law No. 5651, which regulates publications and copyright infringements on the Internet, and Law No. 5846 on artistic and intellectual works. The former has been more common as a basis for court decisions on banning websites.”

Blogger/Google has apparently now closed the specific sites challenged by Digiturk, and successfully appealed the court decision. According to Huriyet the “Lights are back on for bloggers”.

However, as of last Thursday (as I was at the airport) – Tzedek-Tzedek was still showing the “Closed by Court Order” sign.

So maybe it is something they have against me after all!!!


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