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Fifty writers of satirical online dictionary summoned to prosecutor's office

(BIANET/IFEX) - 22 June 2011 - The Istanbul police knocked on the doors of 50 authors of the "Sour Dictionary" (Eksi Sozluk), an online "dictionary" based on user contributions aiming more to entertain its readers than give scientifically correct definitions. The writers were summoned to the Prosecutor's Office, where they gave statements before being released. Certain headings relating to religion were the reason for the interrogations. The police operation came just after the Sour Dictionary announced it had applied a "Hate Speech Control Project".

A Sour Dictionary writer who goes by the nickname of Rapri Sokapri publicised the incident on the website: "Two plainclothes police officers came to my door a short while ago. They said that some things were written from our house about the Quran and Mohammed. They also quoted my nickname (. . .) They are going to take me in for interrogation. What is this? A joke?"

The details about the interrogation were disclosed via an entry from another Sour Dictionary writer with the nickname of Degisen. The user wrote, "Today I gave my statement to two officers from the cybercrime unit at Gayrettepe. I have to correct the disinformation in a heading (. . .) Other information I have is that they took the statements of about 50 writers. They split everyone into groups of 14 writers each. As far as I understood, the complainant is [creationist] Adnan Oktar. The accusation relates to 'offending the moral values of the public'."

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