Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Additional information

After sending our letter to a number of organisations, we received certain questions from a few of them, such as what the court order said, what were their exact words, or if we could provide a copy of the court order, etc.

We wanted to send this explanation to clarify our situation a little more.

We did not see the court order. In fact, we did not receive any notice from any Turkish legal authority.

The only indication we have that this is due to a court order and we know that the users in Turkey see a page that says "This domain has been blocked by court decision" when they try to access Ateizm.org.

There are technical means to get around this DNS server block, so many of our users were able to change their DNS settings or use certain programs to access our web site. Some of our administrators live in Turkey and they witness this page too. (But they use those technical solutions to access the site).

Actually, There is a way for people who are skeptical about this to see the page that people in Turkey see. If you are interested to see the page that mentions closure please follow the instructions given in this page:

When we were first closed in June 2007, we did not receive any notice or any warning.

When we were closed second time in December 2007, Harun Yahya's lawyer posted a message on our message board before the closure and told us that we have "slanderous" remarks on our web site against his client and asked us to close our web site, otherwise they will have it blocked. They didn't even ask us to remove any allaged slanderous remarks first. We replied him and told him that if he can point us to any such content on our web site we would consider removing it if we agree that this is not an honest attack.

The lawyer replied telling us that they will provide us with those links and the closure would take affect only if we refuse to remove them. But we never received his reply. He never sent those links. At the end of December 2007, we were closed again with no other warning.

We think they are filing their complaint claiming that we insult their client. But we don't agree that we have anything that would be considered 'insult' on our web site against any individual. If claiming that Harun Yahya misquotes evolutionists and that he misleads people is an insult, then no intelligent discussion is possible. There may have been some expressions used on our message boards by our users that could be interpreted as insults, but they are against our rules and removed by our moderators when they are seen. But they have to stay on the message board at least temporarily until they are seen of course. And some of them may have stayed indefinitely. But that is the content of the message board, not the web site. We believe there is nothing that attacks him personally on our web site. Even if there was, closing a web site completely because of certain remarks in a few articles among a thousand is not fair either. The court should have asked us to remove any content that they think shouldn't be there. And we never received any such warning.

Wordpress.com was also closed by them in a similar way. 99% of the blogs wordpress.com has on their platform don't have anything to do with Harun Yahya. But Harun Yahya's lawyer was able to have the whole wordpress.com domain blocked by Turkish Telecom. (For more info please see http://wordpress.com/blog/2007/08/19/why-were-blocked-in-turkey/ )

I hope this explanation answers some of the questions you may have had when you first read our letter. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding this matter.

Ateizm.org admin