How Barış Ünver Lives and Works with Censorship in Turkey

Doc Pop of has published a great article featuring WordPress developer, Barış Ünver. Ünver is 27 years old and a Tuts+ author living in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. In the article, Ünver describes what it’s like to live and work in Turkey. When asked whether WordPress being blocked in Turkey is a regular occurrence, he responded:

It’s not extremely common, but we experience downtime on large websites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter a couple times each year. is actually one of the first websites that was blocked back in 2007—you can read the story here.

There are other interesting tidbits within the article as well such as the number of people who know how to use VPN’s as if it’s common knowledge. Ünver also provides insight into the tools used to get around censorship. If the country you live in blocked access to or, what tools, services, and systems would you use to get around it?


3 responses to “How Barış Ünver Lives and Works with Censorship in Turkey”

  1. “If the country you live in blocked access to or, what tools, services, and systems would you use to get around it?”

    Can’t answer this question…what if a government spy is watching this post? :-)

  2. When websites are blocked in Denmark – and it happens more often than you would think – the ISPs usually just do it on DNS level. This means that simply changing your DNS to Google or OpenDNS would give you access.

    Otherwise there’s TOR of course.

    On the same note, I really don’t see why the Turkish government keeps doing this, and other really bad stuff, when they for decades have wanted to be part of the EU so desperately.

  3. Only a very beginning sadly. GeoIP’s main reason for initial life was 9/11. Now for example the US has data centers across the globe that have the same status as an embassy (US territory on foreign lands).

    Other things have made GeoIP a cash cow as well now.

    Whether we like it or not folks nations governance do have the right to censor and/or otherwise control populations. In order to perform those functions and they are critical functions since “Cant we all just get along” is a phrase from “Mars Attacks” not a reality much has to and will change.

    Let me give you an example. In many Islamic nations populations might be exposed to say pornography. Thats very very bad culturally when a fundamental beliefs system is in direct contrast to this. Another example? In the USA we have laws against rape, murder on and on. Yet, flip on the old entertainment tube and viola. Movie’s about rape and murder etc. While we as citizens understand, “It isnt real” nations and/or belief systems hold this in stark contrast. Here in the USA we have Amish, Mennonites and other sects who hold a similar value’s set in respect to such things. These matters of stark contrasts breed real problems in respect to one world, one civilization which is probably the only we humanity will not self-destruct at some point.

    “The closer we are in communication abilities and sharing of knowledge the further we are apart culturally” if that makes any sense.

    One might think logically it should be the opposite but its not because such information(s) may lay in contrast to core constructs of belief systems, history and more.

    Even if we drill that down to a more localized level it is still there. In the USA for example, people who are LGBT, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, etc. Vegetarian .vs. carnoPersonASauruses.

    While censorship is one area, there are others that are now WELL underway. eCommerce.

    Manufacturers, authorized distributorships .vs. not, rights holders etc. Want sell Disney DVD’s on Amazon? Watch your account get suspended if you are not authorized by Disney. For those not privvy to Amazon’s backend. There are 19 categories of merchandise that require approval now for any third party business to vend through.

    Approval can mean anything from having jewelery sent to Amazon for inspection to must be an authorized reseller by the rights holders.

    Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo after the “industry” is done setting up Walmart you will see resale by small entrepreneurs, game stores, bye bye in lieu of lost royalties, billions of dollars lost to the industry.

    Or… counterfeits. Its not now just Coach handbags, its a kit and kabooddle now. Manufacturers, rights holders are being encouraged to flex their authorization capabilities. This is why eBay is doomed. Its why OmniChannel came to be.

    History repeats itself this time on a massive scale. In order to control populations and “people doing what they wish” communication has to be hammered at, regulated, restricted. On the net that wasnt possible 15 years ago.

    We will be seeing more and more of this unfurled. There are no “IF’s” about it, simply “When’s” and what are the catalysts to “sell it” to the public. Lots:

    1. Their security.
    2. Damage to economies.
    3. Terror.
    4. Damage to jobs.
    5. Cultural impactors.

    I can go on and on and on

    All very VERY valid points.

    From say a Turkish perspective. What gives a citizen the right to place news or events or happenings or views of Turkish items out for the world to see? If your trying govern a country what is the impact upon your citizens and governance?

    Or, more local, what gives a US citizen the right to order some video from the UK .vs. a US distributor simply because its cheaper to order it abroad? What about the US based business who hires and supports people and their families via those domestic sales?

    What gives say a US website the freedom to say Slam Islam convincing readers that they need feel threatened hence stirring up real problems? Are they card carrying press? Just because we are a free nation does not give us the right to act irresponsibly towards other nations as citizens. If same commentary for example took place on the neighborhood streets in hometown USA citizens would be arrested.

    Its a real mess.

    And it is going to change. It cant NOT change.

    This is WHY the “Big players” in IT are also making their moves. Cant control the net with 60,000,000 different players in the technology. Can control the net by the biggest players creting the technology that affords control. Thats whats happening.


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