How the Turkish Government Exploits Social Media Removal Requests to Silence Criticism

how-the-turkish-government-exploits-social-media-removal-requests-to-silence-criticism

13-08-19 10:45:00,

By Arzu Geybullayeva

On August 4, the Ankara Criminal Court of Peace issued an order to withhold four Twitter accounts in Turkey. The order affects the accounts of Oya Ersoy, member of the left-wing HDP party (People’s Democratic Party); Turkish music band Grup Yorum, and two accounts related to the Gezi Park protest movement: Taksim Gezi Parki and Gezi Savunmasi.

Ersoy, whose account is certified, is a lawyer and politician. In 2018 she was elected as a parliament member representing the opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

Grup Yorum is a veteran Turkish folk band known for their political songs since 1987. “Yorum” means “to comment” and many of the band’s songs look at the problems in the country and channel criticism in lyrics of their songs. For years, their concerts have faced bans and censorship in the country. Most recently, the band’s July concert was banned in the Turkish province of Hatay, and twelve people were detained for singing their songs on the day of the concert. In February 2018, six of its members were declared terrorists. Two of them fled the country for France.

The Taksim Gezi Parki account was set up at the onset of Gezi Park protests, while Gezi Savunmasi tracks court proceedings of protesters and activists arrested during the Gezi Park protests. The 2013 protests first started as an environmental protest movement against the planned demolition of Gezi Park in Istanbul, before turning into a nationwide anti-government uprising bringing together hundreds of thousands of protesters.

At the time of publication, Twitter was yet to comply with the decision, and all four accounts were still accessible in Turkey. The basis for the court’s decision was the protection of national security and public order, in accordance with Law No. 5651 on the Regulation of Publications on the Internet.

These four accounts are among hundreds—if not thousands— of Twitter accounts targeted by the Turkish government using the platform’s “Country Withheld Content” tool (CWC). In 2010, Twitter unveiled the tool which allows it to censor content on a country by country basis.

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Turkish Occupation Continues to Erase Cyprus’ Heritage – Global Research

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19-03-19 03:37:00,

Since the military invasion of Cyprus by the Turkish army during the summer of 1974, countless reports have been published about the atrocities the Turkish invaders committed on the beautiful Mediterranean island.

But less known is the continuous effort by the Turkish occupiers to drastically alter the cultural identity of the northern half of Cyprus, an area with thousands of years of rich history.

Since 1974’s violent displacement of hundreds of thousands of Greek-Cypriots, the northern part of Cyprus has occupied not just by Turkish-Cypriots, from whom the vast majority were already living in the island.

Tens of thousands of Turkish settlers have been brought to the island from the Turkish mainland in consecutive ”waves” of re-settlements conducted by the Turkish state. These operations by Turkey took place in an effort to completely reshape the ethnic and cultural makeup of the so-called ”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”.

The interior of the church of Saint Irene (Agia Eirini) in Morphou. Photo by the Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs

An area rich in ancient Greek, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Venetian artifacts, monuments and buildings is undergoing a constant cultural attack, on a both systematic and unsystematic basis.

This has resulted in a de facto ethnic and religious cleansing, in which the Christian and Greek character of northern Cyprus has been almost completely wiped off the face of the map.

The church of Saint Anthony (Agios Antonios) in Leonarisso has been turned into a farm building. Photo by the Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs

As Michael Jansen wrote in his Cyprus: The Loss of a Cultural Heritage report of 1986, ”the political-demographic de facto partition imposed on Cyprus since 1974 threatens not only the unity and integrity of a modern nation-state.

He continued that the partition also threatens “the millennial cultural integrity and continuity of the island which has been the crossroads of the civilization of the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Universities, along with the government of the Republic of Cyprus and various non-governmental organizations, have tried throughout the years to shed light onto the constant cultural erosion taking place in occupied Cyprus.

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MoA – A Turkish ‘Security Zone’ In Northeast Syria Is A Bad Idea

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17-01-19 05:29:00,

January 16, 2019

A Turkish ‘Security Zone’ In Northeast Syria Is A Bad Idea

U.S. President Trump wants U.S. troops to leave northeast Syria. His National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tried to sabotage that move. Trump came up with idea to hand northeast Syria to Turkey, but soon was told that Turkey would fight the Kurdish YPK/PKK who the U.S. armed and used as proxy force against the Islamic State.

Turkey has no interest in fighting the Islamic State or in occupying Raqqa and other Arabic ethnic cities along the Euphrates. Its only interest is to prevent the formation of an armed Kurdish entity that could threaten its soft southern underbelly. It thus came up with the idea of a “security zone” in Syria that it would occupy to keep the Kurds away from its borders.


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But that border strip is exactly where the major Kurdish settlements are. Ayn al-Arab, in Kurdish ‘Kobane’, and many other cities along the border all have largely Kurdish populations. These would certainly fight against a Turkish occupation. Turkey also wants to control the Manbij area west of the Euphrates.

Russia will not allow Turkish control of more Syrian land:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday the Syrian regime must take control of the country’s north, after calls from the United States to set up a Turkish-controlled “security zone” in the area.

“We are convinced that the best and only solution is the transfer of these territories under the control of the Syrian government, and of Syrian security forces and administrative structures,” Lavrov told reporters.

The Kurdish organizations and the Syrian government also also reject the Turkish plan:

“Syria affirms that any attempt to target its unity will be considered as a clear aggression and an occupation of its territories as well as a support and protection for the international terrorism by Turkey,” [an official source at Foreign and Expatriates Ministry] said.

Turkey moved enough troops to its border to launch an invasion but the risk for its economy is high. There are local elections in March and the Turkish President Erdogan does not want to upset them by jumping into a quagmire.

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Turkish Strategy In Northern Syria: Erdogan’s Path To Building A Neo-Ottoman Empire

Turkish Strategy In Northern Syria: Erdogan’s Path To Building A Neo-Ottoman Empire

18-09-18 07:23:00,

Via SouthFront.org,


GENERAL ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION

In order to understand Turkey’s approach toward the conflict in Syria, one first needs to explain the military situation there as of September 2018.

There are localized clashes between militant groups led by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in northern Latakia and southern Idlib. The Syrian Arab Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Forces are carrying out strikes on weapon depots, equipment and UAV workshops and key facilities belonging to militants in southern and southwestern Idlib.

These as well as deployment of additional SAA units at the contact line between the militant-held and government-held areas are described by pro-militant sources as clear sings of the upcoming SAA operation to defeat Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other al-Qaeda-like factions there.

In Suweida and Rif Dimashq, the SAA is still working to eliminate ISIS cells operating in the desert area. Separate ISIS attacks on the SAA and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) happen time to time.

In those parts of Raqqa and Deir Ezzor provinces, which are controlled by the Kurdish-dominated SDF, the health care system has been totally destroyed, and no effort is being made to restore major infrastructure. Many of the areas under SDF control suffer from epidemics due to the shortage of clean water, and nearly total absence of medical services. The situation particularly bad, when it comes to restoring normal life and services. Local authorities, who should be involved in these matters, are mainly concerned with their own well-being. Kurdish leaders still view their main task as the creation of an independent enclave and later their own state in these territories. This is why their main concern is to keep the political and military dominance in the Arab-populated area.

Click to see the full-size image

Negotiations between Damascus and the Kurds are continuing at a slow pace. The Kurdish political leadership are seeking to get concessions from Damascus, for example some kind of federation within Syria.

Afrin, controlled by the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and Ankara proxies, is experiencing low-intensity guerilla war. Cells of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) regularly carry out bombings and run attacks on Turkey-led forces.

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