22 Sep

Richard Dawkins, Internet Freedom in Turkey & Adnan Oktar

Ankara – Turkish internet users have been blocked via a court order from accessing the site of prominent British biologist Richard Dawkins after complaints from lawyers for Islamic creationist author Adnan Oktar, the website of Turkish television station NTV reported on Wednesday.

A court in Istanbul ordered that Turk Telekom block access to the site and since the weekend Turkish internet users seeking the site have been redirected to a page that says in Turkish ‘access to this site has been suspended in accordance with a court decision’.

NTV reported that Oktar complained he and his creationist book ‘Atlas of Creation’ had been defamed by comments made by Dawkins on the site.

‘I am at a loss to reconcile the expensive and glossy production values of this book with the breathtaking inanity of the content,’ Dawkins, a distinguished advocate of the theory of evolution, wrote on his website in July referring to the Atlas of Creation.

The book has caused controversy not just through its advocation of creationism but also through how thousands of copies of book were distributed to schools in a number of European countries.

Oktar has used the Turkish courts on a number of occasions, the latest being earlier this year when he attempted to have Dawkins’ book The God Delusion banned in Turkey on the basis that it was insulting religion but a Turkish court threw the case out.

In August 2007, Oktar, who writes under the pen name Harun Yahya, convinced a Turkish court to block access to millions of web blogs using the WordPress.com hosting service after finding that a number of blogs carried libellous comments.

In May, Oktar was found guilty of creating an illegal organization for personal gain and sentenced to three years imprisonment. He is appealing the decision.


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