Pokemon Go players betraying country, Turkish professor says

Pokemon Go players betraying country, Turkish professor says

Pokemon Go players betraying country, Turkish professor says Those entranced by the application Pokemon Go are not actually chasing virtual creatures in the real world but are “betraying their country” for acting as spies, according to a professor in the northwestern province of Sakarya.

“What will police do when a spy comes here and attempts to take pictures of Malatya’s notable streets, crossings, public institutions and military buildings? They apprehend and deport him. You do not even need that because we are all taking pictures of all those places and uploading them to the system on Pokemon Go. Some countries have already banned this,” history professor Ebubekir Sofuoğlu said during a recent conference in the eastern province of Malatya.

Players are betraying their country by taking pictures as if they were spies, he said, urging the youth to free themselves from their chains while describing their mobile phones as “electronic handcuffs.”

“You are playing Pokemon Go and betraying your own country. I am waiting for those games to be banned. But when they are banned, it will be too late since most of the pictures have already been sent. In the meantime, we will be busy with another game. Release yourself from those handcuffs,” he said.

Like the rest of the world, the phenomenon of Pokemon Go has also engulfed Turkey with hundreds of gamers gathering outside to capture, train and battle pokemons even though it is not officially available in the country.

However, it has also drawn criticisms amid discussions of its potential ban in the country.

In July, Mehmet Bayraktutar, the head of Turkey’s union of imams, Diyanet-Sen, proposed a ban on the game, saying it was undermining reverence for Islamic holy places, as gamers were trying to catch pokemons in diverse public spaces – including mosques. 

Pokemon Go has become an instant global phenomenon since its release in the United States in July. It was the most downloaded smartphone app in the U.S. in its first three days of release, increasing Nintendo’s stock value up to nearly 60 percent in just four sessions.

Developed by Niantic, a company founded as an internal startup at Google, the free mobile app game uses satellite location, graphics and camera to overlay cartoon monsters on real world settings, challenging players to capture and train the creatures for battles.