Archive for July, 2021|Monthly archive page

EFD Rights Watch: Seven people from Kurdish family shot dead at home in an apparently ‘racist assault’

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2021 at 14:59

Prosecutors and AKP leadership were quick to deny the racist side of the massacre but many believe it was an ethnically motivated massacre…

Prosecutors say massacre of Kurdish family ‘not racially motivated’

Ten people have been detained in relation to the killing of seven members of a Kurdish family at home in Konya.

The family living in Konya, central Turkey, was attacked by a mob of dozens of people in May.

Two Kurdish families have been reportedly asked to leave the city after the incident.

More than 7,000 people were either sentences or given a deferred sentence, CHP deputy Tanrıkulu has said.

Answering the Parliamentary question of Evrim Sommer, the federal government of Germany has confirmed the existence of execution lists targeting the journalists from Turkey currently living in Germany.

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Turkey struggling with more than sixty wildfire cases

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2021 at 11:04

As you can guess pro-government media is quick to blame PKK for fires. Even if this is the case, the government could be more ready?
Four people and scores of animals have died in the fires that erupted in 21 provinces throughout Turkey. Authorities don’t rule out “sabotage.”
After Antalya, forest fires broke out in multiple locations in Adana, Mersin and Osmaniye.
A massive forest fire in Turkey’s Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya has killed three people, the country’s agriculture and forestry minister said on July 29.

BBC Turkish has a good collection of videos:


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An ongoing debate: Turkish Pop or Poop Art?

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2021 at 09:39

Some got angry on social media with the artist’s interpretation and called them “poop art”.

Prominent artist describes controversial sculptures as ‘Turkish pop art’

A prominent Turkish artist has defended the much-debated sculptures and statues that mostly stand at the entrances of various provinces depicting things those provinces are known for, saying that they were “examples of Turkish pop art.”

Turkey’s spectacular city statues — a thing of beauty or an architectural failure?

Turkey’s spectacular city statues raise questions about art and corruption.

Originally published on Global Voices


A screenshot taken from a BBC Turkce video about city statues across Turkey

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There is an unabashedly racist mayor out there in Bolu…

In Uncategorized on July 28, 2021 at 13:54

Things are definitely complicated and a new wave of Afghan refugees paved the way to an organized anti-refugee outcry. However, this does not hide the fact that some are explicitly racist. Bolu mayor is from the CHP and the main opposition party seems not to provide a clear-cut response to this racist mayor…
Having announced that a 10-fold increase will be introduced to the water bills and solid waste taxes collected from refugees, Bolu Mayor Özcan has said, “I am behind by words. If I have to pay a price, I am ready to do it. I will never take a step back.”
Mayor’s plan to charge ‘foreigners’ 10 times higher water bill sparks debate

As nationwide concerns over a potential new influx of irregular migrants have grown in recent weeks, a Turkish mayor’s

One person killed in third racist attack on Kurds in two weeks

Dozens of people reportedly attacked a Kurdish family after an argument in Konya, central Turkey.

MEDIA MONITORING DATABASE: Violence, censorship and a restraining order against journalists

Eight journalists were injured by police, a restraining order was issued against a journalist for a report about the sub-

Violence against older people: 133 cases reported in June

The Association for Aging Studies has published its monthly report “Monitoring Violence and Violation of Rights Against Older People” for June 2021.

Second armed attack on HDP in a month

A man fired shots at the HDP’s district office in Marmaris, Muğla. No one was hurt in the attack and the assailant has been

Hundreds of baby flamingos die in Turkey’s Lake Tuz

Farmers’ embankment of the water channels flowing to Lake Tuz has caused the water flow to stop, claiming the lives of

Erdoğan to create social media watchdog against ‘misinformation’ spread – report | Ahval

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is looking to create a social media watchdog in an effort to…

Over 100 thousand missing rifles in Turkey: Parallel State Structure?

Following claims of notorious criminal gang leader Sedat Peker on Twitter regarding over 100 thousand missing rifles, the

The Sea of Marmara, a ‘Sapphire’ of Turkey, Is Choking From Pollution

A slimy secretion has coated harbors and beaches and smothered marine life. Warming waters are part of the problem.

Clean-up of Turkey’s Sea of Marmara – in pictures

Drone photos before and after the project show the success in tackling a ‘sea snot’ outbreak that had threatened marine life

Mucilage density decreases in Marmara Sea thanks to cleanup efforts

The marine mucilage density has decreased in the southern shores of the Marmara Sea thanks to the efforts in line

Turkey’s Black Sea opening

As Turkey increases its economic and military cooperation with Poland and Ukraine, the number of Turkish-made
“RTÜK is now a primary problem of Turkey’s broadcasting and the biggest obstacle to freedom of the press,” council member İlhan Taşçı has said.

Rise in annual inflation in June higher than expected as lira continues to depreciate against US dollar and euro.

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Happy belated birthday: “BitTorrent Turns 20” #Cyberculture Agenda

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2021 at 16:30

“My new app, BitTorrent, is now in working order, check it out here,” Bram Cohen wrote on a Yahoo! message board on July 2, 2001.


bram yahoo



This was probably one of the more underwhelming software launches in history. The official website, consisting of a few lines of HTML code with black text on a white background, didn’t impress either. Nothing hinted at the powerhouse BitTorrent would soon become.

It seems more and more law enforcement agents are trying to use online platforms’ copyright-takedown measures to prevent videos that show them in a bad light from being shared online. A California police officer has tried to use the tactic on a BLM protestor at the Alameda Country courthouse by playing Taylor Swift’s Blank Space, as reported by The Washington Post and Variety. His attempt failed, though, and it even backfired spectacularly: The video has almost 800,000 views on Twitter as of this writing, as well as 300,000 views on YouTube.

I’m Not a Reporter. But I’m Verified As One On Twitter

A new program makes getting a blue checkmark too easy for ‘journalists’—and far too difficult for activists.


Sir Tim Berners-Lee has sold an NFT of the original source code for the world wide web for an eye-watering $5.4 million, but the buyer could be in for an unpleasant surprise: a security researcher has spotted errors in the code. Up front: The NFT market exploded in 2021, bagging artists and celebrities whopping sums for digital tokens that authenticate ownership of collectibles. Berners-Lee hopped on the bandwagon amid signs that the bubble was about to burst. He auctioned off an NFT representing this bundle of items: The original archive of dated and time-stamped files containing the source code A…

Kremlin bots are fuelling chaos and lies about the pandemic

10 July 2021 Metro

The article investigates how the pro-Kremlin bots spreading pandemic disinformation through social media.


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Turkish Ministry’s promotional video on #Istanbul.

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2021 at 12:59

The video represents a life ministry’s own party intends to destroy. Well, they need tourism profits… So here it is. We, locals, do not have the same “cool” here.

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Tiktok, an unexpected tool for activism: “Turkey’s labourers take to TikTok to show millions their harsh work conditions

In Uncategorized on July 26, 2021 at 16:19

Workers in Turkish factories, construction sites and fields have become the unlikely stars of TikTok, revealing harsh and dangerous conditions in posts with millions of views. Turkey, ranked among the ’10 worst countries in the world for workers’, is one of TikTok’s largest user bases, with approximately 19.2 million users. Its algorithm can allow a labourer with a handful of followers to reach millions if their posts land on the ‘discover’ page. But despite the grim reality evident in these videos, creativity and humour shine through the cracks

Cracks Are Growing in the Erdogan Regime

This doesn’t mean that there will be another uprising like the one that began over Gezi Park during the summer of 2013 or that President Recep Tayyip .

Police fire tear gas, rubber bullets into crowd of journalists in Istanbul

Istanbul, July 21, 2021 – Turkish authorities must ensure that journalists can cover political events without being harassed or attacked by police, the
Main opposition CHP Niğde MP Ömer Fethi Gürer has indicated that 1,155 workers lost their lives in Turkey in the first six months of this year. 34 percent of the workers died of COVID-19.

Turkish Jewish media outlets hit with cyberattacks amid global antisemitism surge

Avlaremoz was founded in 2016 by young Turkish Jews who had participated in the 2013 Gezi Park anti-government protests that roiled Istanbul.

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Good riddance: President Erdoğan ousts Boğaziçi University rector whom he himself had appointed 7 months ago

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2021 at 11:49

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on July 15 replaced a top Istanbul university rector whose appointment led to months of student-led protests against his rule.

APPOINTED RECTOR DISMISSED: Boğaziçi University | Vice rector appointed as acting rector

Shortly after Melih Bulu, the appointed rector of Boğaziçi University, was dismissed by a Presidential decree, the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) has appointed Bulu’s appointed vice rector as the acting rector of Boğaziçi University.

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“#Istanbul Mayor launches bid for 2036 Olympic Games

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2021 at 11:19

Istanbul Mayor launches bid for 2036 Olympic Games

Istanbul has launched a bid to host the 2036 Olympics and Paralympics as it seeks to finally stage the Games. The Turkish capital bid for each of the

Istanbul’s population more than 75 countries despite slight decline

Istanbul was home to nearly 600,000 fewer people than in 2020, when the population was 14.8 million, as per the population map prepared based on

The geopolitical and environmental dangers of Turkey’s Bosphorus bypass canal

But Istanbul’s opposition mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, has voiced alarm. “I am sweating when I talk about this channel because I can feel this is a nightmare;

Canal İstanbul: What if the opposition takes over before it’s completed?

Opposition tries to dissuade potential financiers of Canal İstanbul • Turkey is officially out of İstanbul Convention • Erdoğan makes false claims on

Istanbul Canal: A geopolitical tinderbox in the making?

Mr. Zafar focuses on the political, economic, and strategic elements of the Istanbul Canal, which as per President Erdogan’s plans, will be ready by …

The weird, wonderful relationship between Istanbul and its cats

Istanbul, Turkey, where we’re currently living, is a city of remarkable beauty. The stunning mosques and their slender minarets soaring overhead

A Bittersweet Return to Normalcy for Some Istanbul Residents

… all COVID restrictions and is seeking a return to normalcy after several months of lockdown measures. Dorian Jones reports for VOA from Istanbul.

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Erkan’s recent presentations and a new publication

In Uncategorized on July 13, 2021 at 10:49

As the classes ended, I thought I would be more relaxed but ongoing writing tasks exhausted me. I assume I will not be free until the end of August to finish up all writings and a project on disinformation. However, I and two friends will take a road trip up to Artvin next week and I will probably escape out of town a few days during August. Pandemic messed up all the schedule. August used to be the least busy time but now we will be around to meet with the new students.

Despite the ongoing exhaustion I have, I am glad to have had a productive time in the last couple of months. Here are a few presentations and a new publication during this time:

Saka, E. (2021). Networks of Political Trolling in Turkey after the Consolidation of Power Under the Presidency. In Digital Hate. The Global Conjuncture of Extreme Speech. Indiana University Press.

Saka, E. (2021, March 20). Creating a Digital Archive of Dissent: The Gezi Archive. Recording it Ourselves  A Day Event about DIY Cultures, Information, Archives and Heritage.

Saka, E., & Furman, I. (2021, June 20). Digital Blessings for Holy Days: Performing Islamic Piety in the Age of Social Media. Materialities of Everyday Religiosity:  Historical and Contemporary Dynamics in Turkey and Iran.

Saka, E. (2021, July 7). Rebuilding Mainstream Media in Turkey. Spatial Dimensions of Two Online Media Venues (Medyascope and T24). Media Building.

Kılıç, B., & Saka, E. (2021, July 9). Ethics State of AI Startups in Turkey: A Look at the Developers’ Perspectives. CEPE/IACAP Joint Conference 2021: The Philosophy and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence.


You can find my detailed CV here.

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