50 "Sour Dictionary" Writers Summoned to Prosecutors Office
Friday, June 24, 2011
The police knocked on the doors of 50 authors of the "Sour Dictionary" (’Ekşi Sözlük’), an online ’dictionary’ based on user contributions aiming more to entertain its readers rather than giving scientifically correct definitions.
The writers were summoned to the prosecution where they gave their statements before they were released again. Certain headings related to religion were the reason for the interrogation. This operation came just after the Sour Dictionary announced to have applied a "Hate Speech Control Project".
A Sour Dictionary writer with the nickname "Rapri Sokapri" announced the incident on the website: "Two plainclothes police officers came to my door a short while ago. They said that some things were written from our house about the Quran and Mohammed. They also quoted the nickname. Are they calling Gayrettepe [an Istanbul district] to order? They are going to take me to an interrogation. What is this? A joke?"
Islamic creationist Oktar complained
The details about the interrogation were disclosed by the entry of another Sour Dictionary writer with the nickname "Degisen". The user wrote, "Today I gave my statement to two officers of the cyber crime unit at Gayrettepe".
"Yet, I have to correct the disinformation in the heading. I asked the officers and they clearly answered that there was no request for information from the Sour Dictionary. They came upon the ADSL registration. Other information I have: they took the statements of about 50 writers. They split up the group in bundles of 14 writers each. As far as I understood, the complainant is [creationist] Adnan Oktar. The accusation is an article like offending the moral values of the public".
Degisen continued, "I am happy so send the scanned copy of the statement to anybody who thinks this is a lie.
I want to thank the police officers for their kind and considerate behaviour. I even smoked a cigarette with one of them. He had a nice chat. After all, they are people like you and me.
Edit: Thinking twice of course they might also have taken the IP address from Sour Dictionary. The police actually said the opposite but how do they know the technical side of the issue? In fact, the prosecutor tells them to collect this and that".
Sour Dictionary writers outraged
One after another Sour Dictionary writer expressed their annoyance about the interrogations on the website under the newly formed rubric "Sour Dictionary gives information about its writers to the police". The users discussed whether the dictionary forwarded their personal data and if yes, how they should react.
Some of the comments read as follows:
* "Some time ago it was written at the bottom of the page that ’in case the police would stand on your doorstep just say ’one second’ and run away through the kitchen window’. We laughed about it. It was made up but this means it became true".
* "It is clear that these tactics of frightening/intimidation are not/will not be useful in the end. What should be done is maybe to initiate a stance of civil disobedience. What is actually more frightening (confusing!) is that a number of people started to apply auto-censorship. These are the actions we did not want to see on this pitch, it did not suit us".
* "Whatever, in short I did not like it. This is an interrogation that should be thoroughly investigated. Let’s be alert".