First it was YouTube. Then WordPress. Then Google Docs and Maps. Then YouTube again. Or maybe it was the other way around. It's awfully hard to keep up with all the websites that have been banned in Turkey, even in just the three years I've been living here. So-called "Web 2.0" sites seem to create some of the biggest problems as Turkish law appears ill-equipped to deal with the fact that the content on a single website can be created by hundreds of thousands, or even millions of users -- if just one of them insults a revered historical figure or pisses off a rich creationist, it's no skateboarding dogs for anyone.
Somewhat inevitably, the wheel has spun again and come up Blogger. This time around the ban, which comes at a moment of increased concern about press freedom in Turkey, seems to be the result of a simple copyright spat, although Google (the parent company of both Blogger and YouTube) and Turkey have a testy history that may or may not play a role.
Migrating to another web service that might just as well get blocked five minutes from now doesn't seem like too appealing of an option, so for the moment I'm just going to stay put on blogspot and see how things shake out. If you're in Turkey and want to keep reading my blog (which I hope you do!) and others hosted by Blogger, try one or both of these tactics that have been suggested as a way around the ban:
- Sign up for the RSS feed of sites you like (that link goes to mine), and ask your favorite blogs to switch to showing their full posts in RSS feeds if they're not doing so already.
- Follow the "Don't Touch My Blog" (Bloguma Dokunma) campaign on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates and work-arounds.