This is a copy of the letter I’m sending to the Turkish Ambassador to Australia, regarding Turkey’s ban of WordPress. If you would like to contact the ambassador in your own country, feel free to copy and change the text below.
August 29, 2007
RE: Freedom of Speech
Dear Mr N. Murat Ersavci,
My name is Christopher Levinson. I live in Sydney and I’m writing to you regarding an action a Turkish court has taken that is of great concern to me.
On August 17th, 2007, the Turkish Fatih 2nd Civil Court of First Instance blocked access to the WordPress.com domain. The ban on WordPress, a blogging platform hosting some 1.3 million blogs, was a response to a suit filed by lawyers for Adnan Oktar alleging that defamatory statements had been made about their client by several blogs on WordPress.com.
The ban has resulted in all blogs hosted by WordPress.com being made inaccessible to Turkey. I feel very strongly that this is an overreaction. I am a blogger on WordPress; I have done nothing wrong, but my readership is being impacted.
Even more serious is the fact that there are many innocent Turkish bloggers on WordPress.com who now cannot access their blogs or are being forced to use other means to access them. It is a violation of their free speech and that of readers from all over the world.
Please understand, this is not about whether Adnan Oktar was slandered, or about the Turkish legal system; I respect your country, as I hope you respect mine. But it has gone beyond that. Now it is about innocent Turkish bloggers being forced into silence, and countless others being denied the freedom to be read. The court could have ordered that the offending blogs and any subsequent offenders be blocked, but instead ordered the complete ban of WordPress.com. It’s the equivalent of closing a library because of a single offending book, rather than just removing the book itself.
Many websites and blogs on both WordPress.com and on other platforms are initiating campaigns in support of Turkish bloggers, and I am writing to you to express my concern, and to ask that the Turkish authorities reconsider their position.