[Where is Ahmet] Investigative Journalism Conference, July 22, Istanbul

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Transparency International Turkey is organizing “Investigative Journalism Conference” in Istanbul at July 22nd. I’ll be participating in this conference as the co-spokesperson and senior editor of Jiyan, Turkish online news-analysis website.

I’ll be talking at the part named “An Alternative to Traditional/Mainstream Media: Internet Journalism” and will talk about how internet gives new powers and abilities to journalists, how internet journalism and internet itself powers up freedom of speech and what Jiyan does and will do in that perspective.

Conference will be in Turkish but will translate the text later for publishing in here or maybe in Jiyan too. Conference program can be found in here.

Hope to see you all there.


Şeffaflık Derneği Türkiye’nin organize ettiği “Araştırmacı Gazetecilik Konferansı”, 22 Temmuz’da İstanbul’da gerçekleşecek. Ben de bu konferansa Jiyan’ın eşsözcüsü ve editörü olarak katılıyorum.

Konferansın “Geleneksel / Ana-Akım Medyaya Yeni Bir Alternatif: İnternet Haberciliği” kısmına katkı sunacağım ve burada internetin gazetecilere sağladığı yeni yeteneklerden ve güçlerden, internet gzeteciliğinin ve internetin kendisinin ifade özgürlüğünü nasıl güçlendirdiğinden ve tüm bunların içerisinde Jiyan’ın konumundan, yaptıklarından ve yapacaklarından bahsedeceğim.

Konferansın programına buradan ulaşabilirsiniz.

Hepinizi orada görmek dileğiyle.

A Personal Take on Turkey Elections: Hopeful But Really Tired

“I can rest, finally!”

To be honest, this was my first thought when my brain started working at June 8th. I was feeling tired, worn out. And still feel the same. My guess is the elections affected a lot of people living in here similarly.

Yes, I’m also an digital activist, including lots of other things I’m doing. But politics, especially daily politics in Turkey is nothing but a total mess. It’s not my area, I can’t fit in. I can comment or report some basic news but I’m not doing it with joy. It felt like a duty, I have to spread (translate) what’s going on in here. It was an abrasive experience, just like last two months in Turkey.

Especially in May, politics seized everyone’s life in here. I don’t know about other people, but it was unbearable for me. Lots of meaningless fights on media, roaring election vans and booths everywhere. I was able to see stress around me. There was no place to hide from it. And it was blocking you to do anything else or even think about anything else.

It felt like there was no end.


But finally, election is over. I know that there are lots of political uncertainty and these will probably continue at least for couple of months. But even though I feel more hopeful about the future of Turkey, I don’t have any more power to follow this much anymore.

I have my own interests, things I enjoy following and arguing. Things I wanted to write, create. There are lots of things I have to handle in my life. But my brain was blocked, mesmerized by the elections and now I feel like it’s filled with nothing but crap. I have to clean all of the junk and I have to take a lot of things back from where I left weeks ago.

Of course I will follow what’s going on, but as long as it’s not about technology, internet, censorship, surveillance and freedom of speech; I want to be a follower, not a commentator. I feel like I don’t have enough power for any other stuff for now.

I might write another blog post soon to what I’m planning to do in near future, what my plans for summer. But for now that’s all I want to say.


In case you’re wondering my takes on the election results, there will be an detailed post on Global Voices, collecting all Turkey authors’ comments on that. I wrote my general opinion and I guess most of it will be included. I’ll link it here. But shortly: I’m mostly happy with the outcome, like Louis Fishman said, hope is the real winner of this election. I’m just hoping that ‘the hope’ will stay in the air and we can start long-term changes in here. Otherwise, some groups (some already started to work on that) will do everything to wipe out hope to get their power back. I hope Turkey won’t let that happen.

[Read] Rapture of the Nerds

rotn-cd-cs

Rapture of the Nerds – Cory Doctorow, Charlie Stross

If you’re a science-fiction writer and you want to write about Singularity, you have to know how people and civilization works. If you don’t, your story doesn’t mean much and it’ll be impossible to read. Thankfully, both Doctorow and Stross knows this very well, plus, they have a very good sense of humor.

Other than making sense at technical level and telling their story beautifully, those two points at the paragraph above makes this novel a perfect one. If you’re interested in technological singularity fiction and you want to read something ‘absurd’ but makes a lot sense (like Douglas Adams’ ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ books), you have to read this.

RotN captures the current situation of our civilization and gives us a very plausible possible future with technological singularity. If you read the book and laughing at the “plausible” part, just think about it. Do you think a civilization messed up like this one (don’t get me wrong, I love our civilization but we have to accept that) can do better than that? For me, RotN build on a very realistic ground and this is the main reason why story seems absurd at first glance.

If you want a clue about the book, just look at this quote:

As you can see, the genome of the said item is chimeric and shows signs of crude tampering, but it’s largely derived from Drosophilia, Mus musculus, and a twenty-first-century situationist artist or politician Sarah Palin.

Or this:

“Turns out we gotta prepare the way for holy war in cyberspace,” Sam says. Huw boggles. “Cyberspace? Who even says ‘cyberspace’ anymore?” “The Prophet, that’s who,” Doc says.

You can find a lot more like these in the book. Go get it. (Buy or Download CC licensed version.)

[Read] Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free, Shivering Sands

Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free – Cory Doctorow

This is one of the books that we’ll need more in the near future. Doctorow collects his ideas and short writings about the copyright, future of computing and future of artists and creates this handbook for anyone interested in any of these topics. And Cory shows us a clear picture of the problems we’re having right now on that ground and how we can start working to solve these.

If you’re an activist, writer, artist, publisher or just someone curious about the computers and the culture and economy growing onto; you have to read this book and always keep somewhere easy to reach. Because I’m sure that we’ll talk more about this book and what Cory says in it for a while, we have to. (Link to Buy)

Shivering Sands – Warren Ellis

Well, if you know me for a while, you probably know that Warren Ellis is one of those people that I can really worship if he starts a cult. He still doesn’t, so I’m just reading and enjoying everything he writes. And recently bought his blog post collection “Shivering Sands” and finished today. Now I’m waiting a couple months to re-read again.

To be honest, if you know and like Warren Ellis, you’ll love this book. If you don’t know him, I’m not sure if this can be a good start point. I would recommend couple of his comics first. And if you don’t like him, I’m really sorry for you. (Link to Buy)

National Security is Not An Excuse For Censorship and Surveillance

“If what we’re living through in this country is normal, we are all crazy.”

 

On my latest Global Voices article, I wrote about the latest censorship bill proposal and soon to be voted Security Bill in Turkey. I talked about what those bill could do and why and how Turkish government uses “national security” as an excuse for these.

The security bill proposed by AKP leaders looks scarier still, offering unprecedented powers to police and governors. The bill would authorize law enforcement to conduct telephone wiretapping for up to 48 hours without a warrant, authorizes police to arrest and detain anyone without a warrant up to 48 hours and stop and searches legal wherever police can find “reasonable doubt” of innocence.

Turkey Cites National Security as it Cranks Up Internet Controls | Global Voices

İnadına #JeSuisCharlie

Charlie Hebdo 1178Türkiye’de ifade özgürlüğü diye bir şey olmadığını hepimiz biliyoruz. Bugün olanlarla birlikte bir kez daha çok güzel anladık. Özetleyelim:

  • Cumhuriyet gazetesinin dağıtımında sıkıntılar yaratıldı, yukarıda kapağını gördüğünüz sayıdan sadece 4 sayfa yayınlamalarına rağmen başlarına gelmeyen kalmadı.
  • Uykusuz, Penguen ve Leman’ın “Je Suis Charlie” kapaklı sayılarının dağıtımında sıkıntılar olduğu söylentileri var.
  • Tüm bu yayınlar tehdit ediliyor. Sadece “hassas vatandaş” değil, bildiğiniz gazeteciler, hükümet temsilcileri de bu tehditleri destekleyenler arasında.
  • Tam da bu sıralarda MİT’in Suriye’ye silah götürdüğüne dair belgeler yüzünden Twitter ve Facebook için sansür kararı çıkartılıyor.
  • Ben bunları yazmaya başlamadan önce gelen mahkeme kararıyla yukarıda gördüğünüz kapağı yayınlayan tüm sitelerin engellenmesi kararı çıkartıldı.

Madem öyle, bu durumda ifade özgürlüğü için inat etmekten başka çare kalmıyor. Kapağın tam versiyonu yukarıda, tıklayıp indirebilirsiniz. Aşağıda da internetlerdeki bir güzel insan tarafından Fransızca versiyonun tamamının taranmış hâli var, İngilizcesini bulur bulmaz buraya yükleyeceğim onu da.

Cumhuriyet’in 4 sayfalık ekini de burada bulabilirsiniz.

Güncelleme (16:54): T24 büyük bir adım attı ve sayının tamamını Türkçe olarak yayınladı. Kendilerini tebrik ediyorum! Buradan okuyabilirsiniz.

Hatta Türkçe kapağı da yükleyeyim buraya:

uncut_charlie-hebdo-kapak-sayfasi_117611638

Dünyadaki en özgür basına sahip ülkeden sevgilerle!


What happened in Turkey today:

  • Newspaper Cumhuriyet wanted to published 4 page selection from the latest Charlie Hebdo. Police raided the trucks delivering newspaper and checked what has been printed.
  • There are rumors about latest issues of satire newspapers Uykusuz, Penguen and Leman are having distribution problems and some places selling these refusing to sell. Also AFAIK Cumhuriyet having same problems too.
  • Lots of “concerned citizen” threatens these newspapers and also people defends Charlie Hebdo or these newspapers, including some journalists and government officials.
  • Court ordered block for Twitter and Facebook because leaked documents from Turkish Intel MİT claimed that MİT delivered guns to jihadists at Syria.
  • And another court order banned publishing the cover of latest Charlie Hebdo issue and all websites publishing the cover will be banned.

UPDATES

  • 17.00: A Turkish news-site, T24, decided to publish all of th latest Charlie Hebdo issue in Turkish, despite the threats to Cumhuriyet. You can see it here. Also lots of people uploads the cover on their accounts too.

Of course, after all of this, a stubborn like me would not waste any time to post this on his blog :)

Cheers from the country which has the most free country in the world, according to Erdoğan.

I Was On TV (at Sweden)

Aktivismens Tid screenshot of Ahmet A. Sabancı

(Türkçesi burada.)

Yes, that happened.

Long story short: Two lovely people, Sara and Tigran, came from Sweden last March and said “We want to make a documentary about activists around the world and we want to interview with someone from Turkey too. We’ll talk about who you are, what are you doing, what’s your views about topics like this and that… Do you want to join?” And I said “Well, okay. Let’s try and see.” And this 14 minutes happened.

I’ve talked about a lot of things and did a lot of stuff like walking, sitting, showing places and a little security education to my friends at university. I guess I wasn’t so bad.

I’d like to hear what you’re thinking about so give it a shot. And feel free to comment about everything, even about my hair :)

Sadly, video doesn’t allow embedding so you can click my photo or the link below to watch.

Aktivismens tid: Kunskapen – UR.se

Bots With Characters

There used to be a thing called Weavrs, living at weavrs.com but I’ve remembered it recently and saw the project and website looks like a zombie. And now I’m wondering if there’s something similar exist?

The idea was pretty interesting and I’ve always wondered how far could it go. Having bots that can wonder around and find things related to their characters created by you. It was a very promising experiment and also possibly an useful tool. Having bots working for your special interests and find stuff on the internet for you and if you let it free, it can improve itself and adds more into its character.

I want more tools like this. I need bots surfing random parts of the internet and collect stuff for me. I want to watch a bot trying to improve its interests and see where it’s going.

I need more weird web!

A Compilation to Understand GamerGate

Yakın zamanda GamerGate saçmalığı üzerine bir yazı yazmayı planlıyorum ancak o sırada hem benim bilgilenmemi sağlayan ve yazıda kullanacağım kaynakları bir araya toplamak, hem de konuyu merak edenlerin ya da derli toplu okumak isteyenlerin işine yarayacak bir kaynak oluşturmak için böyle bir derleme yapmaya karar verdim. Yeni yazılar, videolar buldukça bu listeyi güncelleyebilirim.

Ve eğer merak ediyorsanız şimdiden söyleyeyim: Evet, ben de olması gerektiği gibi anti-GamerGate’im. Nedenini yazıyı yayınlayınca öğrenirsiniz.

(I’m planning to write a Turkish article about GamerGate bullshit soon but before that, I want to compile my resources at one place. I hope this post will be helpful for anyone who wants to read some sane articles about GamerGate. I may update this list if I can find more.

And just in case, if you’re wondering: Yes, of course I’m anti-GamerGate.)

#Gamergate Trolls Aren’t Ethics Crusaders; They’re a Hate Group – Jennifer Allaway

The Only Thing I Have To Say About Gamer Gate – Felicia Day

Gamergate Goons Can Scream All They Want, But They Can’t Stop Progress – Laura Hudson

List of ethical concerns in video games (partial) – Leigh Alexander

Gamergate is loud, dangerous and a last grasp at cultural dominance by angry white men – Jessica Valenti

“Women Are Being Driven Offline”: Feminist Anita Sarkeesian Terrorized for Critique of Video Games

My Thoughts This Morning on GamerGate – John Scalzi

Gamergate Is Running Out of Heroes – Andy Baio

The ultimate weapon against GamerGate time-wasters: a 1960s chat bot that wastes their time – Ian Steadman

 

Recommendations from Uğurcan:

In Defense of Gamers – Peter Frase

Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds – Arthur Chu

 

 

 

Warning: This is a Meta Post

Since the beginning of summer, I was thinking about my online activities, accounts and a way to organize these in a way which makes sense for me. Because for a while it feels to me like I need a good clean up. Until now I was doing that with small steps but from now on, there will be some important changes and this post is a good example for that.

Other than announcements and long posts, I’ll start writing quick notes and short posts in here too. I was thinking about making a side-blog for this but this doesn’t made enough sense for me. That means I’ll be using here more active and that kind of posts will have a special category for them, which is called Notebook.

Also I’m playing with Known too. If I can get along with it, I may totally dump Tumblr and use that for an active microblog for things like music, video, photos etc. Maybe I can buy a weird domain or create a subdomain for it. Still not sure.

And last stage is about my accounts all around the web. Right now I’m visiting every single one of them and deciding if it’s worth keeping. Some survives, some goes private, some dies. If you’re wondering about current situation, list of my active accounts is here. I’ll update this regularly.

Guess that’s it for now. It’s already 2am here.