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Gloves come off in online battle over ‘insult to religion’

Hürriyet Daily News, 21.11.2011

Two journalists from daily Taraf joined in calls today to shut down a website that allegedly insulted religious beliefs.

A lawsuit was filed earlier against a member of the Internet website “ekşisözlük” (sour dictionary), an online platform where users share opinions, on grounds that the user, identified only by his initials M.S., “openly belittled religious values.”

The campaign to close down the site found support from Mehmet Baransu and Rasih Yılmaz, columnists from daily Taraf newspaper.

Baransu tweeted, “Shame on this nation if no one is going to rise against the scum ekşisözlük.”

Daily Taraf announced that they had no connection with the campaign.

M.S. had written an entry titled “The farce called religion,” in which he said he expressed his personal views and did not intend to insult anyone’s values.

Yesterday, a campaign was started on Twitter with the hashtag “shut down ekşisözlük.” Campaigners said ekşisözlük was an enemy of religion and should be closed down.

On ekşisözlük, meanwhile, entries reacting to the issue were being posted online. A hashtag was created on Twitter that read “eksisozlugedokunma” (“don’t touch ekşisözlük”) which became number two trending topic on the site.

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