Friday, 19 September 2008

Richard Dawkins's website banned in Turkey – courtesy of Harun Yahya

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Back in our May/June issue, Peter C Kjaergaard reported on the efforts of Adnan Oktar, AKA Harun Yahya, the shadowy Turkish creationist responsible for sending the lavish and absurd Atlas of Creation to science professors and teachers around the world.

He's also well-known for going through the Turkish courts in order to have websites shut down that are critical of him, and he may have just achieved his greatest victory by having Richard Dawkins's official website blocked there. Earlier this year he tried, and failed, to have The God Delusion banned in Turkey, but no doubt he'll see this as a valuable consolation prize. His office has claimed the courts blocked the site because it "violated" Oktar's personality, as his press officer explained:
"We are not against freedom of speech or expression but you cannot insult people. We found the comments hurtful. It was not a scientific discussion. There was a line and the limit has been passed. We have used all the legal means to stop this site. We asked them to remove the comments but they did not."
As the Guardian points out, Turkey's restrictions on free speech are on ongoing obstacle to its attempts to join the EU and banning Dawkins's website is unlikely to do this any favours. As for the Dawkins site, they've responded in the perfect way – by putting a banner at the top of the homepage that reads "Banned in Turkey".

Breaking news, Friday Noon: I just got off the phone with Seda Aral, who works for Adnan Oktar at what they call the Science Research Foundation in Istanbul. She invited me out to Istanbul to interview Mr Oktar (I'm tempted, if only so I can see the Bazaar), and we had a little chat about the age of the earth (she said he is not a Young Eather, he just does not accept that species evolved), Oktar's take on EU membership (he's pro apparently) and why he got Dawkins's site banned. She says that had numerous offensive comments about Mr Oktar on it. They informed the site of this and asked for the posts to be removed but got no reply. Oktar then felt they had no other option than to use Turkish law, which is very strict about offensiveness to get the site banned. Here's what she says about it:
"Istanbul’s Sisli 2nd Criminal Court of Peace has banned the site in Turkey on the grounds that Adnan Oktar’s personality was violated by this site. The court reached the decision to ban the site on September 3. A lawsuit is filed for the damages of mental anguish against Richard Dawkins in the amount of 8000 YTL (about 4000 Euro)".
Hmmm. Throughout our very pleasant conversation she emphasised that though there is a biggish gulf between what Mr Oktar and New Humanist argue, he is a very open and respectful sort of chap and would welcome debate (he famously invited Dawkins to debate him, something that the good prof has vowed not to do). I suppose the question is should those of us who "believe" in evolution bother to give any time or the "oxygen of publicity" to creationists, or just ignore them? What do you think - let us know in the poll on the right Caspar Melville, editor.


Anonymous said...

As far as the pole goes, you should go talk to them and pretend to agree with them. Then, come back and tell us how nuts they are. :)

Kobra said...

Your poll really could use a third option.

Kobra said...

Your poll really could use a third option.

Anonymous said...

Turkey needs whatever secular influence it can get. Maybe the creationists will spin it to look favorably on them--not maybe, probably--but I still think it's worth it, we can still make some good of it.

Calladus said...

I think that in this case it would be like wrestling a pig.

I think that any time Oktar speaks, those in the "reality based" community merely need point at the "Atlas of Creation" albatross around his neck.

ERV said...

Well *I* invited Harunwhatever to Oklahoma for a naked Jello wrestling match, and *he* never responded.

If you would be so kind as to bring my offer to his associates attention, I would be most appreciative.


Nathan said...

Soon after writing a piece about creationism for AlterNet (, I was also invited to interview Harun Yahya. And I accepted. I just bought a ticket to Istanbul. If you would like to suggest any questions for me to ask Mr. Yahya, please email them to me at

Tony Sidaway said...

Religious people increasingly crave the appearance of scientific credibility. I've got a better idea: let's starve them of what they crave. We don't need them.

In particular, Turkey is by constitution a secular state. Dialog with those who deny their own constitution in this way betrays those secularists within Turkey who are fighting against the encroachment of ancient religious dogma.

Anonymous said...

I hope you will interview him. Ask, "Why it is that creationists have spent millions of dollars on giving away glossy books, making propagandistic movies, and otherwise generating publicity, but have yet to spend their first million on research?"

Cujo359 said...

My response to that poll would be "Yes, we'll help your words reach our part of the world when you allow Dawkins' to reach yours. Until then, stick your big, glossy, pretentious coffee table book where the sun doesn't shine."

genesgalore said...

would you debate a snake oil salesman????

Gev said...

Nobody has the right to insult. Freedom of speech is not the freedom of insult. I think mr. yahia is right banning the site. (he banned the site because of the comments section)

Mike said...

I was an evangelical for 40 years, so I know from my own past that there is no "debating" with fundamentalists and evangelicals. Acts 7:57 is the usual religious reaction to the things they can't debate. They cannot be convinced by argument. I came around by another path.

Aquaria said...

Yes, freedom of speech does include the right to insult, and to offend.

Being offensive is what made America what it is. If it weren't a good thing to offend, America itself wouldn't exist; we'd still be part of England if we hadn't felt it necessary to offend King George and the rest of England.

Then again, not thinking things through is typical of hypersensitive twits.

Michael said...

Turkey said, you can't regulate there is no god in our

Yes, freedom of speech does include the right to insult, and to offend.

But not in such places like blogs where it can be regulated and if the host gets sick of you, he bans

Anonymous said...


Of course we have a right to insult. How else do you combat stupid people and their stupid ideas? They certainly don't listen to rational debate as Mike (below your post) attests to.

Mike - How did you come to give up your irrational beliefs if you don't mind my asking?

european said...

It is a fact that Adnan Oktar is following an approach based on discussion, persuasion, evidence and peace. You can see this in the wording of his books and in his interviews at . He has devoted his life to unearthing the lie of evolution - it is in fact a very big lie - just for the sake of telling the truth to the entire humanity. In return he has been prisoned, put to mental asylum, threatened with death, confronted with endless slanders by the masonic press etc.

I am one of the great fans of Adnan Oktar - Harun Yahya because of his consistence, courage, good morals and noble stand against all evil.

Just like the Atlas of Creation, his website where you may download free all his works at are very good reference points to see that Islam is really a religion that brings aesthetics, wisdom, beauty, science and superior morality together. The one who sees this fact soonest, will start living a very peaceful, tranquil and beautiful life both internally and outside.
Sincerely yours.

Anonymous said...

How about "Yes - we should slam them down hard at every opportunity, but not on their ground and not with any unwarranted deference to their bogus beliefs"?

Anonymous said...

Since Adnan Oktar destroyed Darwinism scientifically Darwinists are using abusing language reflecting their hoplessness.
But that can not keep Darwinism alive.
No freedom of speech does not give right to anyone to insult.It is against the law and it is universal. That is he reason why Dawkins website is banned..

A said...

Darwinists are slammed down with sceintific evidences publicized in Adnan Oktar's books

Anonymous said...

Well, since I'm offended by Mr. Oktar, both when it comes to him spreading his lies about evolution, and having the website banned, I expect him to stop doing both, or expose himself as the hypocrite that he is.

Or does this so-called "right to not be insulted or offended" only apply to those you support?

Yeah, I'm not holding my breath.

Anonymous said...

By having their idology refuted by Adnan Oktar Darwinists are crying and screaming loudly. Adnan Oktar is in the right path in the way of Allah.
There will be no more Darwinism in few years. A golden age is coming.

european said...


Evolution is dead... This is a fact because 100 millions of fossils unearthed show that their counterparts living today are exactly the same with those. There is no gradual development, no half-wing, half-ear, half-lung, half-face creatures on earth. They are all intact with totally functioning complex organs, organ systems etc. Darwinism is dead...

The world is leaving this old and evil deception that has resulted in ruthless ideologies like fascism, communism, and racism. The ones who insist on appraising evolution are surely wishing for the worse for the entire humanity. The ones who are striving to make us see the truth - that evolution is the greatest life of the 20th century - should be heard and acknowledged well.

Science and evidence wins once again because these show that there cannot be a minute place for coincidence or chance in the superb balances in the macro and micro world. Let us take out one chromosome or a few genes from a cell and see what happens. Let us wait for hemoglobin come up gradually through step by step manner to carry oxygen in the blood and see what happens.

We see no flaws all around the earth, and in our bodies, because God is so merciful and compassionate, He has sustained us with countless blessings from the oxygen balance in the air we breathe, the the hydrochloric acid content in our gut.

It is this love of God that brings splendor, enthusiasm, brotherhood, beauty and growth to people and communities. It is belief in God that makes us happy and share, love and respect. The world should with hurry embrace the thoughts of Harun Yahya (Adnan Oktar) in order to collaborate for a peaceful, rich and splendid world.

Don't miss

Anonymous said...

If a 'so called' scientific theory has no evidences to support it it and falsified by 100 million fossils, you dont call it science. It is a hollow indoctrination. The reason that people believe in Darwinism is blind faith not in the name of science. Because science points to an exalted creation by Allah.
Darwinism is down with atheism and materialism. And Adnan Oktar(Harun Yahya) succeeded in that.
He has 285 books in every scientific topic you can think about.

Anonymous said...

There is no point in discussion with this pseudoscientist adnan oktar. He has done no scientific research. The best way is to ridicule him all the way. Just smuggle the books to Turkey. Fuck Allah.

Saray said...

I love you.....
All books,documantry very beutiful and GOD BLESS YOU

Aslan said...

The impact of Harun Yahya is growing... It's like a Tsunami effect that starts in the middle of the ocean and pervails in all direction until it reaches the land and swallows it all. You cannot prevent it..

scientist said...

Harun Yahya invited Dawkins to a discussion before the public.

But, instead Dawkins tried ways of attacking and swearing Mr. Yahya just like a school boy.

And when Harun Yahya claims for his legal rights for being insulted, they start to talk of "courtesy".

I do not believe in a courtesy where its meaning leads the way to a lack of belief that draws the world to a state of chaos.

AT said...

Good God people. It's generally a bad idea to get into an argument with hardliners of any background, but do you realize that these comments are fascist? And that fascism is bad? Whether or not Islamic creationism is correct - and there's room for discussion here - silencing anyone who insults its major proponent is worse than any discourtesy. It's tyrannical.

Anonymous said...

Harun Yahya is very offensive towards Darwin,who he calls "a big liar" in many of his books.
He is a hypocrite, and a dangerous one. No use in discussing anything with him.

Anonymous said...

Adnan Oktar and his crew has nothing to debate, they are just narrow minded opportunists abusing laws of Turkey that are not ready for internet publications. They do it on many sites on every occasion and sites like YouTube are blocked for months now.

They will use every opportunity to recruit members to their issue and wont even bother listen to sound of mind. So please dont get pulled into a discussion trap. We all know creationism is bedtime story to keep people chained.

european said...


The general attitude of evolutionists, is usually a depressive mood that includes insult, slandering, defamation against anybody who does not share there thoughts.

Evolutionists cannot bear to hear criticization. They cannot debate or discuss because their belief in evolution is a dogmatic one.

When they lose their credit, this time they use slang and similar phrases to give their message of despair to the audience.

Darwinism is dead.
Evolution is dead.

This is the reason of their depression.

Joe Morreale said...

Dawkins has proved what we have known all along and that is that he hides behind the secular establishment who continue to support and promote his work in the name of materialist ideology which is disgracefully defended (agenda-driven) even though it has been scientifically refuted and SHOULD BE MADE OFFICIAL GLOBALLY.

This attitude makes a mockery of democracy.

Adnan has already done the publicity part with his Atlas of Creation which has placed the deception of evolution now more in the open and hence the reason why Dawkins and the secular establishment behind him will not dare to debate Adnan as this would lead to massive exposure of the lie of evolution world-wide wherby it would then inevitably lead to it being made OFFICIAL.
We know of course that is the very last thing the secularists with their agenda want.

The reason why Adnan has called for a ban on dawkins site is because of the personal insults there.
It certainly isn't because he fears his ideas as his challenging richard to a debate wherever he wishes on the subject conclusively shows.

Creationism in DEMOCRATIC fashion should be taught alongside darwinism in educational system
and allow people to make up their own minds to where the truth lies.
It would become clear to many (nearly everybody) that evolution is a fairy tale deceptively imposed arbitrarily on masses by indoctrination via propaganda.

Evolution is dead. It is only a matter of time now untill it becomes OFFICIAL.

Anonymous said...

The reason Dawkins (on the advice of Steven J Gould) refuses to debate is that there is nothing to debate. All it does is lend respectability to a pseudo-science which is totally wrong. It also encourages the fanatic trolls in all the blogs such as this one who insist on the "truth". The logic and evidence in the book have not "disproved evolution" and in fact support it for those with any knowledge of science and evolution (see Dawkins talk to the ex-muslim society).
The "attacks" in the comments are valid free speech. Have a look at what Wiki among others have to say about Adnan Oktar. I personally would not want to meet him in any form.

Anonymous said...

Harun Yahya's only response to criticism is to attempt to silence the dissenting opinion, he has done so many times. This is something Richard Dawkins has never done, but many of the posters here insist that it is Dawkins who is afraid of discussion. The level of double-think is frightening.


Harun yahya is the greatest scholar of this centuary.....Dawkins is really scared to deabte with Harun yahya


Dawkins is really scared to debate with harunyahya....

Sean said...

Harun Yahya is also known for his frequent attacks on Buddhism, which is hardly surprising since Islam is the diametric opposite of Buddhism. Whereas Buddhism attempts to reduce the effects on the mind of 'the three poisons' - hatred, attachment, and ignorance - Islam deliberately cultivates these states of mind:

HATRED: "Hatred of non-Moslems is the pivot of Islamic existence"

ATTACHMENT: ... you get seventy-two virgins in Allah's bordello in the sky. And you get twenty-four boys with liquid brown eyes....

IGNORANCE: Irrationalism and bigotry

For more on Islamic irrationalism see links under 'Pope Benedict' and 'Rationalism' at the Religion of Peace™ Subject Index.

More on Harun Yahya aka Adnan Oktar

Anonymous said...

To Jamshed Moidu, AKA Jamshed Kunnoth, professor Dawkins would floor Adnan Oktar, AKA Harun Yahya or Adnan Hoca, in a debate. Your cult leader knows nothing about evolution, and doesn't even have any experience as a biologist. However Oktar is now locked up in jail because he tried to blackmail a woman into having sex with him.
So your cult leader won't be getting his ass handed to him on a plate courtesy of prof Dawkins.
By the way Jamshed, did you ever take a course in molecular biology? Evolutionary science has gone a long way since Darwin and there is much more evidence for it than Oktar or his fellow morons think.
So instead of gullibly listening to your "messiah" you should be learning some real science.

Zaki Badawi.

Anonymous said...

Aslan wrote:
"The impact of Harun Yahya is growing... It's like a Tsunami effect that starts in the middle of the ocean and pervails in all direction until it reaches the land and swallows it all. You cannot prevent it.."

Sorry to spoil your fantasy Aslan, but Harun Yahya (Adnan Oktar) is having less impact than a gnat hitting a windscreen. You see he doesn't have an argument against evolution at all. He has to steal other people's articles for his books and all these assertions have been thoroughly destroyed on the net.
The evidence for evolution is like a planet compared to Adnan's atom of plagiarised argument.
So it seems that the great and mighty mahdi Harun Yahya cannot stop the reality of evolution from overwhelming religious dogmatism.

Robert Densley ;)

Anonymous said...

"Adnan has already done the publicity part with his Atlas of Creation which has placed the deception of evolution now more in the open and hence the reason why Dawkins and the secular establishment behind him will not dare to debate Adnan as this would lead to massive exposure of the lie of evolution world-wide wherby it would then inevitably lead to it being made OFFICIAL.
We know of course that is the very last thing the secularists with their agenda want."

Why not get some scientist to debate with you that is even more involved in evolution, surely in the highly unlikely event that Harloon Yoyo had some scientific evidnce that evolution were untrue ANY evolutionary biologist would do as someone to debate. What Harloon Yoyo wants is publicity for his brand of religious stupidity, which is why he desperately needs Dawkins to take notice of him.

"Evolution is dead. It is only a matter of time now untill it becomes OFFICIAL."

Anyone who believes this is living in a fantasy world. Harloon predicted the doom of evolution last year. It hasn't happened and Harloon won't make it happen with his islamic mysticism.

Iblis O' Hara

Anonymous said...

I was becoming convinced of Dawkins's workO but the fact that he is not ready to debate Adnan Okra has put reservations in my mind as to why.

Maybe evolutions isn't what it claims to be.

Let's start a petition for a public debate because we need to settle this score once and for all. Is it evolution or creationism?

gonod said...

Most people of "faith" are either sheep-like or defending their hugely inflated "self" ego. Mr Dawkins tells it as it is...Mr Oktar tells it how he has been pre-programmed from his childhood. I speak as an ex-fundimentalist.
You should never open your mouth if you cannot defend your assertions with fact, not tribal influences; therefore ridicule is an integral part of science. Mr. Darwin had to live with it...and so does anyone else who uses "faith" inspired rhetoric. So why ban anyone's words..people can make their own decisions (unless Allah has his way!!!)

Garry Scholey said...

An anonymous lackey of Adnan Oktar's said...
"I was becoming convinced of Dawkins's work but the fact that he is not ready to debate Adnan Okra has put reservations in my mind as to why.
Maybe evolutions isn't what it claims to be."

No you weren't. You wouldn't believe all the mountains of evidence for evolution, compiled by real scientists over years, like Richard Lenski and his team. You're just fixated on trying to gain fame for your ignorance peddling messiah by trying to attach yourself to a proper educator like Dawkins. You Yahya yoyos are desperately fixated on Dawkins. If a debate on evidence for evolution were so important why wouldn't PZ Myers or any other biologist do?

"Let's start a petition for a public debate because we need to settle this score once and for all. Is it evolution or creationism?"

We've got a debate already. Unfortunately it is all one sided. Adnan Oktar has no scientific evidence for creation and Dawkins has The Greatest Show on Earth. You could also try reading Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne, if you can rid yourself of your ignorance blinkers.
By the way anonymous poster, how is your messiah doing in prison?

Silentside said...

New Humanist seems to be in trouble probably due to the extraordinary, real and scientific evidence submitted by Mr. Adnan Oktar to Darwinism. Indeed, due to this trouble the magazine made a very interesting comment and claimed that Mr. Oktar’s claims are met with lampoon in the West. Yet the editorial board in question very well knows that Mr. Oktar provides precise and concrete evidence against Darwinism which is a theory that thoroughly lacks any evidence. Indeed for this very reason he is the one Creationist author whose views are most respected all around the world. Readers worldwide enjoy his books which are also downloaded in ample amounts on the Internet.

European Darwinist publications, France being the foremost, consider Mr. Oktar’s works as a great threat against the theory of evolution and comment on the impact of Atlas of Creation upon Europe with expressions of despair. (For detailed information please see: This is no doubt the reason why Atlas of Creation was banned from the curriculum by the European Council. Aware of the profound effect of Atlas of Creation upon pupils, Darwinist centers strove to hinder the access of this precious work into schools. Consequently the situation is far more different from how it is depicted by New Humanist. The major reason of the Darwinist panic taking place in the world today is the works of Mr. Oktar which have great worldwide impact. New Humanist is totally aware of it.

Silentside said...

The claim regarding the ban on Dawkins' Internet site:

Judicial authorities’ decision to ban Dawkins’ site is not related to the personal claims Dawkins expressed in his site. It is evident that Dawkins expressed these claims in a spirit of panic, out of the pitiful situation resulting from the collapse of Darwinism. The official verdict of the ban taken by the Court is due to the libelous comments made against the author. Mr. Adnan Oktar’s attorneys warned the administrators of the site about these comments, but because these warnings were not taken into consideration and the necessary precautions were not taken, there existed no way other than litigating. In the face of libelous words, Turkish courts found the demand justified and banned the site. Consequently the verdict of the ban of Dawkins’ site is an official one given by the judges in the face of explicit evidence. Surely nobody has the right to insult any other person by any means. The verdict in question is an extremely important and necessary decision that protects the rights of all people and is taken for this purpose.