Harun Yahya & Word Press in Turkey

The San Francisco based million-blogger strong blogging platform WordPress was recently informed by the legal representative of Turkish writer Harun Yahya that under orders from a Turkish court “access to WordPress.com has been blocked in Turkey.” The letter listed a number of “defamation” blogs – “all” of which make allegedly “slanderous” remarks against Harun Yahya. This ban is significant for the larger ripple it casts in Turkey’s new Islamist democracy.

Harun Yahya, which is the pen-name of Adnan Oktar, is a sort of spiritual head of a vast Islamic apologist outfit in Turkey, which has reached Islamic publishers in London, Canada and the US. Though Harun Yahya is described as a “charlatan”, he has made inroads with Muslims all the way from Indonesia to America.

His books cover topics including refutations of atheism and Darwinism, romanticism as a weapon of Satan, anti-evolution pseudo-science, affirmation of miracles, and attacks on Freemasonry, Zionists, Buddhists, and terrorism (Darwin’s fault). In 1996, Harun Yahya published a book called Holocaust Lies (also called Holocaust Deception), which claimed that “what is presented as Holocaust is the death of some Jews due to the typhus plague during the war and the famine towards the end of the war caused by the defeat of the German.” Oddly, a few years later, he pinned anti-semitism on “neo-paganism” and “Darwinism” while putting himself forward as a denouncer of anti-semitism. Additionally, Yahya denies writing Holocaust Lies, but that is hard to believe.

Since around 1998, Harun Yahya’s operations have focused emphatically on promoting Islamic creationism. Recently, his operations sent a glossy 770 page book about creationism to European and US scientists. This creationist movement has allied itself with the American creationists. In fact, in 2005, American taxpayers had to pay for a Turkish non-scientist creationist speaker to come and enter the debate on evolution in Kansas. The speaker was allied with the Science Research Foundation in Turkey (Bilim Arastirma Vakfi, or BAV), which is said to be headed by Harun Yahya/Adnan Oktar, and has murky financial history.

Journalist Tony Ortega wrote a revealing piece in a local US newspaper about BAV. It discussed the intimidation that Turkish creationists have mounted against secular Turkish scientists and the defeat of evolution in Turkish schools:

But beginning in 1998, BAV spearheaded an effort to attack Turkish academics who taught Darwinian theory. Professors there say they were harassed and threatened, and some of them were slandered in fliers that labeled them “Maoists” for teaching evolution. In 1999, six of the professors won a civil court case against BAV for defamation and were awarded $4,000 each. But seven years after BAV’s offensive began, says Istanbul University forensics professor Umit Sayin (one of the slandered faculty members), the battle is over.
“There is no fight against the creationists now. They have won the war,” Sayin tells the Pitch from his home in Istanbul. “In 1998, I was able to motivate six members of the Turkish Academy of Sciences to speak out against the creationist movement. Today, it’s impossible to motivate anyone. They’re afraid they’ll be attacked by the radical Islamists and the BAV.”
All of this is the backdrop to Harun Yahya, but it does not explain why the Turkish courts, under pressure from Harun Yahya have suddenly banned WordPress.

Apparently WordPress has been hosting many blogs Harun Yayha attributes to his political enemy, Edsip Yuksel – whom the letter from Yahya’s attorneys to WordPress describes as the head of a “crime organization.” Interestingly, Edsip Yuksel is Harun Yahya/Adnan Oktar’s former mentor (he relates the history of their tumultuous relationship here). Yuksel is another odd fellow, connected with 19.org, which on the basis of a mathematical Biblical Code, and a Quranic code connected with the number 19, seeks a “Copernican revolution” in religion. He recently released a “reformist” translation of the Quran, which a prominent American publisher had picked up initially, but dropped once its eccentricities were discovered.

A fuller picture about the WordPress ban thus starts to emerge. WordPress is caught up in a long-standing political and cultural battle between two competing Muslim groups. The ban, therefore, reveals little about slander, or defamation, and I am uncertain how effective blog-protests will be (though it is an intriguing idea to try to force the hands of Turkish courts).

Rather, the ban should be seen as the first sign of the kind of censorship that an Islamist Turkish government is willing to accept. A Turkish court has shut down blogs because a local court favours one Muslim leader over another. What does tomorrow hold? The Islamist political leadership, which came to power by attacking secularist Turks for their anti-free speech views (Erdogan of the ruling party complained about not having free-speech rights when he recited an Islamic poem) is now enabling silencing of speech itself.

What does this say about the promises that Islamist parties make before actually acquiring power? How does this bode for Islamist democrats in other parts of the Muslim world? What does it reveal about the Islamist promise in general? It will be important, and instructive, to watch what happens with this case going forward. I would hope that the Islamists will recognise the principles of openness and freedom of speech that brought them to power, and get rid of this ban. We have seen too many Muslim dictatorships and monarchies engage in shutting down and arresting bloggers. Muslim democrats promised not to go down that route. Will they uphold that promise? 

I made a suggestion. I rather hope it gets taken up by other bloggers around the world, preferably on NON-WORDPRESS.COM platforms. People using self-hosted WordPress, people on Blogger and Blogspot, people with LiveJournals, and people who reinvented the wheel and built it themselves.

It is this:

I put out a call for all bloggers, on all platforms, to make silly jokes and bad puns and hey, some defamatory statements about anal-retentitiveness while we’re at it about the apparently both well-connected and thin-skinned ADNAN OKTAR or his pen name HARUN YAHYA.

This will cause Turkey either to extend the ban to ALL blogging platforms, including mainstream newspapers such as the Guardian and the New York Times, or to drop their block against WordPress. Such legal actions have to be asserted in all cases, or they must be dropped.

What say you all?

21 Responses to “Harun Yahya & Word Press in Turkey”

  1. syed bayezid Says:

    maybe you are a masonic sympathiser or a fan of the secular turkish govt.

    harun yahya is doing a great service by opening people’s eyes. darwin himself warned against his theories being taken too seriously. mr. yahya is simply refuting somehting that was never meant to be establikshed as science.
    it is fact that evolution of man from apes has collapsed. scientists mistakenly gathered bones of different sewpcies of primates throughout the prehistoric eras and thought they were actually the same thing.

    lets not forget certain things………. fossil andbones of man has been found in africa as old as the first monkey bones. ever heard of the place called zinj? its modern day ethiopia and somalia …. and the earliest form of man fossil was found there. it was about the same timeo r earlier during the supposed first stage of human evolution. its found that man wore clothes and walked upright and were tall. so there goes ur beloved theory.

    the peking man was a hoax which people such as urself relish in using as an argument agaiunst religion. the guy himself said he made the peking man up. so there is no missing link.

    besides, people that study the dna say that it would take several accidents (timed deliberate accidents) throughout a loong period of time for monkey to be man. even then its doubtful if it would be truly that.

    so yeah i would listen to adnan okhtar or harun yahya before i start cheerleading for that pig headed turkish govt of kous kous eaters.

    salaam.

    • goldenaldi Says:

      Apes have 48 chromosomes, man has 46. Ever wonder where the other two chromosomes disappeared to?
      Truth is out there, and in the AGE OF INFORMATION, IGNORANCE IS A CHOICE.

  2. Sanjar Jalilov Says:

    Dear Website: Thank you for spreading the information on Harun Yahyas’ falsihoods on Science. It is obligatory for an educated people to protect Science.

    Salam Aleykum, Syed Bayezid!
    While, it is a best approach by clericals to seek truth of our existence and nature itself and use science as a tool to find out if the clergy is correct, it is obligatory for clericals doing such research to have an education in these fields of science!

    Unfortunately, Mr. Harun Yahya DID NOT study any of these. Does Mr. Harun Yahya hold any scientific title such as MS or at least BS to have at least a starting point to do sound research of fossils in example, or anatomy?
    To do such researches, anyone is oblige to be educated at first.

    Mr. Harun Yahya has done poor job and BANNING Science will bring only Dark Ages.
    Everyone, must prevent such people from misguiding the humanity on its path to knowledge.
    Thank you.

  3. harun yahaya fan Says:

    U sound dunb blogger …get some knowledge!!

  4. jamshed moidu Says:

    ha…..ha….ha……. you are soo much irritated by HARUNYAHYA’S work…

    • Shadowjack Says:

      Yeah we are irritated that someone was so stupid as to take Hahoo Yahoo’s bullshit ideas seriously and publish them. What a waste of paper.
      mind you it makes for top quality toilet paper. Thank you Yahoo Hahoo, my arse appreciates your book.

  5. JAMSHED MOIDU Says:

    please do visit http://psychologicalwarfaremethods.com/

  6. JAMSHED MOIDU Says:

    please visit http://psychologicalwarfaremethods.com/

  7. JAMSHED MOIDU Says:

    visit http://psychologicalwarfaremethods.com/

    • Aina Aravaindakshan Says:

      Oooooh Jamshed! Hot under the collar are you? Posting a link to your propaganda shows that this site has really gotten under your skin.
      Take some advice and get yourself and your master some therapy for your delusions.

  8. Anthony North Says:

    “U sound dunb blogger …get some knowledge!!” Hrun Yahyah fan, or should I say sycophant. You are the dumb one, following a criminal like Adnan Oktar. In fact I’d say that you are a sock puppet of Jamshed Moidu (real name Jamshed Kunnoth), homo erotic fantasist about Adnan Oktar.
    Jamshed you’re the one who is irritated by any criticism of your boyfriend, and you predictably respond like a naive faithful puppy dog.
    The problem is that you whine and complain about people banning Harun Yahyah’s insipid propaganda from their sites when you lot tried to ban Richard Dawkins books from Turkey. Isn’t that just a lot hypocritical?

  9. Anthony North Says:

    the only psychological warfare methods employed are by Adnan Oktar and his blackmail organization.
    Oktar is a false prophet taking the name of Islam to further his criminal aims.

  10. Dave O'Garr Says:

    “DIAZEPAM 10 mg during night after food, along with read the stories of ” ORIGIN OF SPECIES”…. i guarantee you that YOU WILL GET NICE SLEEP.”

    Jamhead, you admit that real science puts you to sleep. You stick with your fantasy, but don’t try to pass it off as science.

    • JAMSHED MOIDU Says:

      “An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME”- Victor Hugo

      • Shadowjack Says:

        Evolution is more than an idea, Jambuttyhead. If you were allowed to read Dawkins’ latest book you’d cry over the fact that you have wasted your time following a dimwitted buffoon that knows nothing about science.

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