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Gay Web site block reveals no limit to censorship in Turkey

ISTANBUL – Radikal | 10/5/2009 12:00:00 AM |

Turkey’s two largest gay and lesbian Internet communities, hadigayri.com and gabile.com, have been shut down by the Telecommunication Directorate, or TİB.

Turkey’s two largest gay and lesbian Internet communities, hadigayri.com and gabile.com, have been shut down by the Telecommunication Directorate, or TİB. 

The Web sites have more than 200,000 members combined. According to its administrators and members, the sites do not contain any pornographic or criminal content. The directorate blocked the sites without providing any information to the owners or issuing a demand to take down certain content, site mangers said, calling the action unlawful and arbitrary.

The judiciary previously refused the demand to close down Lambda İstanbul and Kaos GL, the city’s two main gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender organizations. Site managers said the new decision came after previous attempts to close down the online networks of members of these organizations.

“Both sites have a wide variety of content, with sections such as gay news, commentary, film, literature, radio, health and forums. The number of members of both sites from Turkey is around 225,000. The directorate is forcing members of these sites to appeal this decision,” read a joint statement from the sites.  

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