Saturday, April 30, 2011

Information about the Latest Turkish Internet Ban

Turkey moves to ban domain names containing indecent language

Istanbul - Critics said thousands of websites face being shut down in Turkey after the country's Telecommunications Directorate ruled against the use of 138 words deemed indecent or provocative in internet domain names, local media reported Friday.

'According to our research, we have determined that 120,000 websites in Turkey will be closed,' Tacidar Seyhan, a member of parliament from the opposition Republican Peoples' Party (CHP), told Milliyet newspaper.

The telecommunications directorate notified web-hosting companies Thursday that websites should not be assigned domain names that contain the prohibited words and that existing sites whose domain names contain any of the words would be shut down.

The list includes suggestive words such as 'escort,' 'naked' and 'nubile' but also a number of seemingly innocuous words like 'homemade,' 'beat' and 'fire.'

The word 'gay' and its Turkish spelling, 'gey,' as well as the Turkish word for 'forbidden' are also on the list, as is the number 31, which is Turkish slang for masturbation.

Internet freedom activists called the ruling ludicrous, saying it would also lead to the closure of many websites that contain nothing indecent or objectionable.

Domain names with the word 'sanal' ('virtual'), for example, could be shut down because they contained the banned word 'anal.'

Turkey has drawn criticism in recent years for having blocked YouTube and numerous other websites over politically sensitive messages or because they included content deemed threatening to public morality.

Human rights watchdog Freedom House rated Turkey only 'partly free' in a recent report on internet freedom, noting that more than 5,000 websites are estimated to be blocked in the country.


From Hürriyet Daily News

…“Providing a list and urging companies to take action to ban sites that contain the words and threatening to punish them if they don't has no legal grounds,” Yaman Akdeniz, a cyber-rights activist and a law professor at Istanbul Bilgi University, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review in a phone interview Friday. Akdeniz said no authority could decide that an action was illegal just by association.

The TİB sent a list of 138 words Thursday to Turkish web-hosting firms, urging them to ban Internet domains that include such words. The directive leaves tens of thousands of Turkish websites facing the risk of closure.

“Hosting companies are not responsible for monitoring for illegal activities; their liability arises only if they take no action after being notified by the TİB – or any other party – and are asked to remove certain illegal content,” Akdeniz said.

The TİB cited the Internet ban law number 5651 and related legislation as the legal ground for its request. The law, however, does not authorize firms to take action related to banning websites.

“The hosting company is not responsible for controlling the content of the websites it provides domains to or researching/exploring on whether there is any illegal activity or not. They are responsible for removing illegal content when they are informed and there is the technical possibility of doing so,” according to Article 5 of the law.

On Thursday, following the heated debate surround the “forbidden” list, the TİB said the list was sent to hosting firms for informatory purposes. But the statement further confused the situation, as the body threatened companies with punishment if they did not obey its directions regarding the list in the first letter sent to service providers.

“The TİB’s press statement is not clear, nor is it satisfactory,” Akdeniz said, adding that it was a pity the directorate was still standing behind the list.

The complete list hasn't been published yet but here are some words on the list of "banned words"




Hayvan ('Animal'),

Baldiz (sister-in-law'),


Buyutucu ('enlarger'),

Ciplak ('nude'),

Citir ('crispy'),


Etek ('skirt'),



Ateşli ('passionate'),

Frikik ('freekick'),


Gey ('gay'),


Gizli ('confidential'),





İtiraf ('confession'),

Liseli ('high school student'),

Nefes ('breath'),




Sarisin ('blond'),

Sicak ('hot'),

Sisman ('overweight'),


Yasak ('forbidden'),

Yerli ('local'),

Yetiskin ('adult')


  1. I read about this on FB. I just don't know what to say! I don't have the words to express myself...and even if I did...would I be allowed to use them?

  2. *speecheless*

    Wait, no I'm not. I'm thinking of how to work every one of those words into a single post.

  3. All I can say is, whoever came up with that list obviously has a much more vivid fantasy life than I do. (and I thought I was pretty intense!) Crispy fat animals in cahoots with nude and nubile fat teen escorts, hot blond gay girls with homemade skirts (on fire!)

    Somebody in the ministry has clearly mixed up a viagra- LSD cocktail.


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