Sultans, Noses and the Internet: Censorship and the Freedom of Speech

Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamit II: Censor of noses. Source: WikipediaIn politics, many favour a leader that exercises real power. Turkey has always been a country in which a strong leader figure has been at the centre of politics – from Ottoman Sultans to Republican Prime Ministers and Army Chiefs of Staff. Current Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan loves emphasizing his “Ottoman Heritage” to tell people that he is riding the wave of history. Due to his obsession with “Ottoman Heritage” and his increasingly authoritarian style, commentators often compare him to the sultans of old. The recent controversy over censorship in Turkey provides another opportunity to make the comparison. 

By Ali Acikgöz

Not All Fun and Games: Three other Reasons not to Celebrate Sochi 2014

Nosochi.com2014, launched by a Circassian group. Photo by: jennifermackenziejones, FlickrWith the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games just three months away, Russia’s recently passed anti-gay law has led to widespread protests, leading Barack Obama to publicly state, “I don’t think it is appropriate to boycott the Olympics.”  The International Olympic Committee is similarly satisfied with the new law, stating it does not breach the Olympic charter, which forbids discrimination of any kind. The extent to which the new law will impact the Games—and Russian society more generally—remains to be seen, but there are three other important reasons to question the Sochi Olympics.

by Sean Kearns