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Turkey has no YouTube

Reader comment on item: Turkey, Still a Western Ally?

Submitted by jennifer solis (United States), Nov 6, 2008 at 14:12

I very much appreciate Daniel Pipes' objectivity towards the politically ominous (my opinion) situation in Turkey - his ability to observe and report, as always, is truly a gift to all of us.

As informative as he is, it took, for me, actually interacting with a young man from Turkey for the gravity of Turkey's situation to hit home.

Strolling around YouTube, I came across an absolute stellar pianist - a few videos exist of this genius - in one, he performs "Mendelssohn Rondo Capriccioso"; another, "Rachmaninov Prelude C# minor"; another, Chopin Etude Op. 10. This young man (looks to be not more than 24 yrs. old) is phenominally talented; genius; I looked up his account and found he was located in Turkey. After leaving several appreciative comments, and noticing these videos were all at least a couple of years old, my curiosity led me to directly leave a comment through his YouTube account - this is his reply -

Hi Jennifer,

Thank you very much for your beautifull comments. Unfortunately, we can not log in to YouTube from Turkey since May 2008. Government doesn't give any permission for communication between youtube and the server of Turkey. We connect with special methodes but now, we can't upload or delete videos. Maybe later, government will change this decision or we will find other methodes :-)

Thanks and Regards,


I realize this is somewhat subjective of me, usually I appreciate and try to employ objectivity, but this breaks my heart - this young man, posessing such a stellar gift, should be able to share that gift on a world stage (not through a few years-old videos on YouTube).

Perhaps I will never know what becomes of him. Considering our new President elect, potential withdrawl of U.S. troops from Iraq, and Turkey's past battles towards the Kurds (and vice-versa), the incrementalistic government of Turkey, who have banned (along with other "narrowly secular" enjoyment) such benign entertainment as YouTube, is anything but an "ideal partner" for the U.S.; now our election is over, question is, will we be an "ideal partner" for Turkey?

Turkey's AKP moving away from "defining secularism in a narrow way"? No. Defining Islam in a narrow way. Increasingly.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

Yes, the Turkish government has closed off access to YouTube because of displeasure at its contents.

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