Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Turkish government body accused of censoring science magazine over Darwin

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The editor of leading Turkish science magazine Bilim ve Teknik (Science and Technology) has been removed from her post after she attempted to lead with a story on Charles Darwin in the latest issue. The magazine is published by a Turkish government agency, the Scientific and Technological Research Council (TÜBİTAK) and, according to Nature, the council's vice-president, Ömer Cebeci, stepped in at the last minute to ensure that Bilim ve Teknik's March issue did not include the Darwin cover story. The article was dropped from the magazine and, as you see in the picture here (which comes from this Turkish report on the story), the Darwin cover was replaced with one on global warming. In a subsequent interview with Turkish paper Milliyet, the magazine's editor, Çiğdem Atakuman, confirmed that she had lost her job over the matter.

Unsurprisingly, a row has now broken out over science and censorship in Turkey, with leading scientists calling for Ömer Cebeci to resign as vice-president of TÜBİTAK. Evolution is a hugely controversial issue in Turkey which, as many of you will be aware, is home to the notorious Islamic creationist Adnan Oktar, AKA Harun Yahya. If this is a sign that the anti-evolution lobby is influencing the decisions of Turkey's scientific research council, then it is very worrying indeed.

[Thanks Alistair]


David said...

Notice how the comments section of the Nature article has become overrun by Turkish creationists.

Caspar Melville said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caspar Melville said...

Yup, it’s happened to us as well- have a look at the forums for this post:

Is it coincidental that the most effective blog swampers have been the Scientologists, the followers of the Strong City cult and Oktar's mob? I think not. While they are not good at logical reasoning, they seem to excel in the dedication and motivation stakes.

Perhaps we should be getting the cults to relay the water pipes in London, they'd be a darn sight quicker than Thames water.