138 Words Banned from the Turkish Internet

Bianet: 138 Words Banned from the Internet

The Telecommunication Communication Presidency banned 138 words and terms from the internet. The list also includes words used in everyday life. The number of access bans is expected to increase; also food home delivery sites or football supporters’ clubs will be affected.

Ekin KARACA, ekin@bianet.org
Istanbul – BİA News Center
29 April 2011, Friday

The list of ‘banned words’ is the latest outcome of a series of oppressive applications that day by day restrict internet freedom in Turkey more and more.

In a notification sent to all service providers and hosting companies in Turkey on Thursday (28 April), the Telecommunication Communication Presidency (TİB) forwarded a list of banned words and terms. Yet, this list also includes a number of ‘ordinary’ words that can be deemed indispensible in usual everyday life.

According to the list, names like ‘Adrianne’, ‘Haydar’ or words like ‘Hikaye’ (‘Story’) fall under the ban. Assoc. Prof. Yaman Akdeniz, lecturer at the Bilgi University School of Law, applied for the right to information to the Internet Department of the Telecommunication Communication Presidency as part of the Information Technology and Communication Council.
Internet expert Akdeniz requires information on controversial list

Akdeniz required information from TİB on several issues. The list comprises a total of 138 ‘forbidden words’ and is classified in three different groups. Akdeniz inquired why the first names ‘Adrianne’ and ‘Haydar’ from group II on the list were added in particular.

In the scope of Law No. 4982 on the Right to Information, internet expert Akdeniz also questioned who the names ‘Adrianne’ and ‘Haydar’ actually belong to.

Again in accordance with Law No. 4982, Akdeniz demanded to obtain the entire range of information and documents related to the preparation of the list.

In the same context, the internet expert requested information and documents regarding the execution of the new application.

Akdeniz put forward that the above mentioned information and documents were of immediate public interest and available at the Telecommunication Communication Presidency as part of the Information Technology and Communication Council. ‘The explanation of these documents is of public interest’, he stated and referred to Article 1 of Law No. 4982 that enshrines ‘the right to information according to the principles of equality, impartiality and openness that are the necessities of a democratic and transparent government’.
State forbids the word ‘forbidden’…

Several words on the list of ‘banned words’ are part of everyday life, e.g. the words Adrianne, Animal, Hayvan (‘Animal’), Baldiz (sister-in-law’), Beat, Buyutucu (‘enlarger’), Ciplak (‘nude’), Citir (‘crispy’), Escort, Etek (‘skirt’), Fire, Girl, Ateşli (‘passionate’), Frikik (‘freekick’), Free, Gey (‘gay’), Gay, Gizli (‘confidential’), Haydar, Hikaye, Homemade, Hot, İtiraf (‘confession’), Liseli (‘high school student’), Nefes (‘breath’), Nubile, Partner, Pic, Sarisin (‘blond’), Sicak (‘hot’), Sisman (‘overweight’), Teen, Yasak (‘forbidden’), Yerli (‘local’), Yetiskin (‘adult’) etc.

According to the notification of TİB, domain names containing the words on the list will neither be assigned nor used and access to the existing ones will be suspended.
Sites of supermarkets or football supporters’ clubs affected as well

Considering certain supposedly ‘obscene’ words, the list is expected to cause a significant increase of censored internet sites.

Accordingly, words that overlap with two or three-word terms that are considered ‘obscene’ will be affected by the ban, too.

As reported by tknlg.com, also websites related to food home deliveries, online grocery shopping, IT, football supporters’ clubs or sites of advertising companies will be affected by the list of banned words. (EKN/BB/VK)