Dedicated to the memory of Özgür Uçkan, whom we lost in 2015; he was a founding member of our Association and a devoted defender of rights and freedoms on Internet…
As Alternatif Bilişim Derneği (Alternative Informatics Association) we have prepared “State of the Art Report on the Internet in Turkey” under seven different titles. In 2015 it can be concluded that the freedom of expression was prevented generally on new media environments either using technical restrictions or through legal mechanisms as a part of state’s ideological apparatus. We feel new topics must be inserted to the report namely media activism, trolling and cyber bullying, free software in Turkey and digital arts.
Here are the subtitles:
MEDIA ACTIVISM, CITIZEN JOURNALISM, ALTERNATIVE AND INDEPENDENT MEDIA
DIGITAL SURVEILLANCE AT INTERNET ENVIRONMENT
HATE SPEECH AND DISCRIMINATIVE DISCOURSE AT INTERNET ENVIRONMENT
TROLLING AND CYBER BULLYING
FREE SOFTWARE IN TURKEY
ONLINE ART PRACTICES IN TURKEY
MEDIA LITERACY AND NEW MEDIA LITERACY
We would like to thank to our members who contributed to the report as volunteers: Aslı Telli Aydemir, Fulya Çalışkan, Gülüm Şener, Melih Kırlıdoğ, Mutlu Binark, Sinan Aşçı and Zeynep Özarslan. The report has been prepared, edited and compiled collectively.
We wish 2016 to be a year during which right to access information and freedom of expression would be protected and improved; to be a year that hate speech and discriminative discourse would turn into peace discourse; to be a year of distributed rights, commons and collective productions.
Alternatif Bilişim Derneği / Alternative Informatics Association
January 12, 2016
- MEDIA ACTIVISM, CITIZEN JOURNALISM, ALTERNATIVE AND INDEPENDENT MEDIA
Right to access information has been continuously and increasingly prevented in our country. Throughout Gezi Resistance, activist usage of social media was practiced: citizens’ journalism, media activism, independent and alternative media opportunities are diversified; although some alternative news networks have lost their influence, some others have gained sustainability through organization and solidarity. However, after two years of Gezi resistance period, increasing oppression policies of government and especially structural implementation of censorship have negatively affected and still are affecting mainstream media, journalists, internet and its users, independent news networks and all anti-hegemonic discourse. In such an atmosphere of failing freedom of speech and insufficient mainstream media, which does not fullfill its own newscasting function, the need for alternative news media and the right to access the news is clearly necessary.
Organisation via Training
One important progress that is noteworthy of 2015 is with news networks  and the rise in number of volunteers/activists/citizen journalists. While a significant impact on the escalation of community news-making is the advance of new media, and mobile communication tools available for freelance journalists, another factor is the increase in the number of training programmes in the field. We have been witnessing that independent news networks, civil initiatives and social movements have organized themselves based on news circulation by assembling training programmes, workshops on citizen journalism, civil rights’ journalism, open source and data journalism, peace journalism etc. For example, Dokuz8 provided training regularly in 2015: Regional training programmes (two for each cities) have been organized in Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, and Diyarbakir, in which over 150 people have participated. Gökhan Biçici explains why they needed training programmes: “Because of the fact that the momentum of Gezi resistance declined, due dates for institutional establishment of Dokuz8 have also been prolonged. Being aware that prolongation might also cause restriction and attenuation, we focused towards ‘regional trainings’ that feature as an organizational campaign.” As for Sendika.org, meetings with volunteers and activists were organized on a quarterly basis in order to evaluate their activities; these meetings also turned into training sessions for the newcomers. 140Journos –citizens’ journalism network- also conducted training sessions in Tunceli, Eskisehir, and Mardin in 2015. Although Jiyan.org did not arrange training programmes on particular dates and places, knowledge sharing with newcomers was made possible by posting articles delivering journalism trends and content related to producing news. Although not on a regular basis, KameraSokak arranged free workshops on several issues such as photography and video activism, freedom of press/media and our rights, social media usage, and security. Dağ Medya with the aim of broadening data journalism, organised free or sponsored trainings in several regions. Independent News Network, BIANET, organised journalism training programmes for students of faculty of communication on the basis of their 9th News Room from School (Okuldan Haber Odası-OHO) in 25-31 July 2015. Bianet aims at introducing newly graduated students into rights and peace journalism principles by organising a week of accelerated, intensive course programme (OHO) every year. Besides, Bianet arranged conferences and meetings on the issue of peace journalism in 2015. Activist Mehmet Atakan Foça, via organisation of news verification workshops, arranged speeches about struggling methods and technics against disinformation on Internet. “Verification HandBook” of European Journalism Center was translated under editorship of Mehmet Atakan Foça by Gürkan Özturan, Gülşah Deniz, Emre Sorkun, Onurcan Önal, Berk Göbekcioğlu, Volkan Hatem, Şafak Erol, Atakan Tatar, Şevket Uyanık. As a part of Second National Congress of New Media Studies, Alternative Informatics Association organized Data Journalism Workshop with Dağ Medya and News Verification Workshop with Mehmet Atakan Foça in February 2015. Alternative Informatics Association also participated in different training activities of Dokuz8 in several regions. Dokuz8 News Agency set up an Election Newscasting Centre in Bilgi University during both June 7 and November 1 elections. Fourth Alternative Media Festival/Istanbul was organized under the harsh atmosphere of Ankara Massacre on 10th of October. Alternative and independent media representatives gathered together in this organisation under the theme of peace journalism. All of these training programmes and workshops have played significant roles in networking and also training of new activists/journalists/citizen journalists/volunteers as well as capacity building and knowledge exchang
Second substantial development of 2015 was the usage of new digital applications, especially Periscopeby independent news networks. One example of how new social media applications helped alternative voices to be heard was Ruşen Çakır’s independent newscasting through first Periscope and afterwards with setting up of Mediascope TV. Parallel to the developments in the usage of social media in Turkey, alternative news agencies and networks used websites, Facebook, Twitter for circulation of their news while Telegram and Whatsapp as newsroom of collective news production processes. On September 13 140Journos started Whatsapp journalism while Jiyan.org started on September 29 via Telegram. Examples of other social media environments used by alternative journalists are Instagram, Youtube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, Snapchat, and virtual dictionaries.
Oppression and Censorship
We witnessed in 2015, how Turkey’s leading powers’ oppression tactics (economic, legal, physical, psychological etc.) have been directed towards not only professional journalists, but also citizen journalists, alternative, radical and independent media workers. Alternative ideas were sieged by different online and offline techniques including discrediting, threatening, legal custodies and lawsuits, access denial, trolling, hacking, and digital lynch campaigns etc. Faced with all these attacks, alternative news agencies introduced several survival techniques.
Legal verdict of “denial of access to Internet websites via court decision” that occured in 2014 continued to rule. 166 websites including Youtube, Twitter and Facebook were denied accessed for the images of Mehmet Selim Kiraz, public prosecuter who was murdered in Çağlayan Courthouse in April. Especially after peace process was over and military operations started, simultaneous acts were carried out towards social media, alternative media and citizen journalism networks. On 24th of July, 96 website including ANF, DİHA, ANHA, Özgür Gündem Newspaper, Yüksekova News Agency, Sendika.org, RojNews, Rudaw, BasNews were denied access by TİB (The Presidency of Telecommunication). On 26th of July, Etkin News Agency (ETHA) and on 10th of August, Dağ Medya and Besta Nuçe along with the new websites of ANF and DİHA were denied access. Prof.Yaman Akdeniz and Assist. Prof. Kerem Altıparmak individually appealed to Constitutional Court for denial of access to 309 websites on 17th of August. Until September 29, DİHA website was denied access 21 times in a month by TİB.  By December 17, DİHA was censored 26 times. At the last days of October access was denied to Jiyan.org and at the beginning of November because of newscasting Nokta Journal’s recall news, Zete website was denied access.
Another censorship strategy implemented by TİB was “slowing down of internet” namely throatrolling. Especially after Suruç and Ankara massacres, slowing down of internet and tightening of bandwidth were implemented with the aim of preventing users’ uploading images of the events.
On the other hand, oppressive process also raised struggle strategies against censorship. News networks enhanced different and creative tactics over censorship policies. Access denied news websites “revive” again through getting new domain names and opening new accounts. Within that period, DİHA opened new websites for 22 times and Sendika.org, 7 times. All these websites calls users to have VPN in order to circumvent censorship. Sarphan Uzunoğlu from Jiyan.org that practiced different and creative techniques in the face of censorship explains: “For us, censorship opened a way of putting into practice creative strategies. Editors read their articles through our Youtube channel; we are newscasting through a Medium and Tumblr account. Moreover, Efe Kerem Sözeri wrote an article entitled, “22 ways of accessing Jiyan.org”.” Jiyan.org at the same time organized a solidarity campaing on Indiegogo. Ötekilerin Postası Facebook account, which survives against all kind of attacks since it has started newscasting, asks for solidarity from their users by enabling “trash”. Dağ Medya, which was denied access in between August 9 and October 9, ensured that censorship was overcome by legal processes. On October 13, Hafıza Kollektifi (Memory Collective) mapped Ak Trolls (related to AKP, government party) digitally in order to draw attention to troll accounts. On October 14, Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği (Progressive Lawyers Association) declared that they would appeal to the prosecutors’ office in case of messages that include hate speech and call for racist violence via social media when the screenshot of messages were available.
Threats and Criminal Charges
In Turkey, independent news agencies face not only TİB-based denial of access but also state-oriented physical violence on their workers and volunteers. During the year of 2015, several correspondents from critical news agencies were taken under custody, abducted, threatened and imprisoned. While one of the editors of Ötekilerin Postası was acquitted from the charge of insulting the President on February 4, another editor was put into prison on December 25. In July, Evrensel newspaper correspondent Kadir Örnek was abducted and threatened throwing a hood over his head. On July 26, during a peace protest that was organized against Suruç Massacre, Sibel Tekin, a documentarist and video-activist from Seyr-i Sokak team, and Yurdum Serüven Dönder from Kamera Sokak teams were taken under custody. In İzmir two video-activists from Kamera Sokak were taken under custody during the year. On September 6, Gözde Çağrı from Seyr-i Sokak, was derailed by police while walking back home from a peace meeting Nine volunteer correspondents of Dokuz8 were taken under custody during the year, latter two being in Antalya during G20 Summit. In Ankara, Bora Balcı, a Sendika.org correspondent, was abducted, threatened and told “to quit of this job”.During the protests of YÖK (Higher Education Instution) on November 6, ETHA correspondent Rosida Koyunca was taken under custody, Bianet correspondent Beyza Kural was handcuffed in an inhuman way and released by the intervention of other journalists. On September 28 in Diyarbakır, police raided over offices of DİHA, Azadiya Welat, Aram Publishing and Kürdi-Der; over 60 people including 32 journalists were taken under custody. On October 23, in İstanbul police raided houses and Hayri Tunç, a Jiyan.org columnist, was taken under custody. On November 12, Sibel Tekin from Seyr-i Sokak was taken under custody once more. On December 16, Beritan Canözer, a correspondent of JINHA, was taken under custody in Diyarbakır and sent to prison afterwards. 
It is possible to say that ın Turkey, political power’s continuously increasing oppression on social movements and oppositional groups reflected upon internet and independent news networks; simultaneously with military operations and police raids, cyber-attacks and access denials have occured; and by comparison to previous years oppression became continuious and systematic. Therefore, social movements, citizen journalists, and alternative media correspondents need to be empowered and supported by solidarity networks specifically in 2016 and onwards. So, it is critically significant and necessary to underline the Encryption Training of Alternatif Bilişim Derneği towards non-governmental organizations and alternative media workers that are based on Julian Assange’s discourse: “To encrypt information is easier than decoding it”.
2.DIGITAL SURVEILLANCE OF THE INTERNET ENVIRONMENT
Incredible role of Internet on emergence of social movements, solidarity with them and accelerating them also triggered global interest. Several states started to track their citizens’ digital traces by means of their technical and bureaucratic capacities. Countries such as the UK and the USA with their technical and organizational advantage, started illegally to track not only their citizens but also three billion internet users which adds up to 40 percent of human population. By the disclosure of former CIA and NSA employee Edward Snowden, it is made obvious that these surveillance processes are much more rigorous than it is assumed; the reckless and serious acts of these countries are much worse than what was previously perceived as conspiracy theories. Snowden revealed that USA based information monopolies such as Microsoft and Google act collaboratively and synchronize with USA intelligence agencies. It is understood from all these disclosures that a new kind of espionage occured in the last decade by billions of people having been spied and their personal information kept in computers. This reckless acts hit record high by Windows 10 of Microsoft company in June 2015: to transfer the users’ all contains to Microsoft computers by the function of “keylogger”, to capture all the voices in the environment and to copy e-mails. Along with all the users of the world, Internet users in Turkey are exposed to these surveillance activities. Even George Orwell would not imagine that his “Truth Ministry” would dominate as much. One can speak about “learned helplessness” here. Arguments such as “I have nothing to hide” or “Why does USA intelligence spy on me?” are not valid since the surveillance exposure of people is equivalent to bug cameras and microphones in their houses. By means of these surveillance techniques, data on not only individuals of today but also next generations (i.e genetic diseases) are under espionage of strangers and institutions.
USA and its allies’ (UK, Canada, Australia and New Zeland) namely “five eyes” operations are restricted with surveillance. In other words, these countries generally do not censor in their own boundaries (one exception is UK’s ban on pornography and categorical crimes such as child pornography). Therefore, it may be assumed that Internet censorship is essentially put into practice by anti-democratic states or the anti-democratic measures exerted upon those same states by global powers.
What is the difference between censorship and surveillance at Internet environment?
Censorship and surveillance at Internet environment although generally acknowledged in the same manner are substantially very different deeds. First of all, censorship has concrete consequences on persons and groups that it is exposed to: it prevents to access a specific target. If access needs to be ensured (e.g a specific website), different techniques such as VPN is used. On the other hand, surveillance at Internet environment is an act that the one surveilled might not feel directly. There might be concrete consequences of surveillance but these consequences are to be revealed after a while. Therefore, it causes auto-censorship of users at Internet environment. Secondly, implementation of censorship is relatively much easier than implementation of surveillance. Censorship by definition is not individually targeted but collectively implemented. Put differently, censorship is mostly implemented towards not a group of people but to all citizens in a country (family and children filters are irrelevant in this manner). Nowadays established practices with various software and hardware exist; one or a combination of which might be used for preventing access to specific domains. Although it is possible to circumvent the censorship via advanced softwares such as Tor it is possible to block these advanced technologies (in case of which the users that have improved technical literacy might re-enable the blocked features). While censorship targets all citizens, surveillance might target individuals or all citizens. In order to spy on specific individuals, specially developed softwares such as RCS (Hacking Team) and FinSpy (Gamma) are used. Keeping logs of users by ISPs and exposing them when demanded by state agencies might be considered as an example of collective surveillance. However, considering all these acts, surveillance related practices require above-average digital and technical literacy levels.
Digital Surveillance at Internet Environment in Turkey
Electronic surveillance mission previously exercised by several state institutions were transmitted by TIB in 2005 that was established under the supervision of Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK). Legal court documents reveal that for a long time TIB continuously kept logs of Internet, wired and mobile phone communications within the bounds of its authority with the excuse of “using when necessary”. TIB was restructured by AKP government in 2015 within the operations that were against “Parallel Organization” (paralel yapı: dissident Islamic community beheaded by Gulen). Specifically experts who worked for TIB were liqudified as a part of these operations. Although it is easy to buy software and hardware technologies when enough financial source exists, using them efficiently is possible only through competent and well educated experts. Besides, it is important to be an organization which has the capacity to analyze the huge amount of data that the systems produce and the potential of data-driven intervention when it is needed.
Usage of Targeted Surveillance Softwares
There are several commercial softwares that have the capacity of targeted surveillance on Internet. These softwares have the capacity of transmitting voice and images without knowledge of the users if necessary by turning-on the microphone and camera with the keylogger function that copies all content (including passwords) of user’s keyboard. They might also copy all the files and e-mails. Some softwares by decoding or bypassing the passwords acquire Wi-Fi connections and Skype log-ins. And some others might install malwares into BIOS systems. There are several documents that prove most of these softwares used in Turkey.
Biggest of the companies that produce these kind of softwares is Italian based Hacking Team. Remote Control System (RCS) that were produced by this company has all the capacity to operate all the features mentioned above. A hacking operation made to Hacking Team in 2015 revealed 400 GB of data on Internet. Among leaked documents are Turkey’s Law Enforcement Agency bills.
Citizen Lab, Toronto University/Canada, is an expert-institution on targeted surveillance software. Citizen Lab publishes reports on technical features of these softwares and in which countries they are being used. In these reports, Turkey is in the list of countries that use FinFisher (FinSpy) user. This software is of English-German origin Gamma company which is a rival to Hacking Team. Blue Coat is a US origin company that produces targeted surveillance software that does not hesitate on trading with authotarian regimes. Reporters Without Borders declare Blue Coat as “one of the five enemies of Internet” in 2013. Unlike other companies Blue Coat has an office in Istanbul. Citizen Lab in its reports mentions Blue Coat’s Packet on TTNET’s servers. However it is not clear what kind of censorship and surveillance functions are used provided by these systems.
TTNET formed a partnership in 2012 with Phorm company that had been suspended from USA, UK and South Korea because of their violation of privacy and personal data in targeted advertisement and sued in EU. Phorm’s DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) technology is used extensively for both censorship and surveillance on Internet. This company also continued to violate privacy in Turkey. Such that BTK imposed fines on TTNET-Phorm partnership and ceased and desisted order for a while. Alternatif Bilişim Derneği started a petition against the activities of this company via a website entitled enphormasyon.org. Possibly with the contribution of this campaign, the company had to go out business in Turkey.
Although TTNET being a private company it is closely related with the existant government. It structures the spine of Internet and occupies a special monopoly position in Turkey. At the same time it is the biggest ISP of Turkey. A tender bid leaked in 2014 for a DPI system according to which the system requested to have the capacity to censor and surveil much of the systems including the ones that use Tor and VPN. Although there are rumors that Procera company of US origin won the tender, it is still a mystery. Tor and VPN are still being used in our country, there is no concrete evidence of common surveilance on these systems.
Lastly, we should mention that with the changes made in the Internet law numbered 5651, provisions of this law are seemingly made for censorship however they might be used for digital surveillance. For example, according to this law TIB might force ISPs to set up DPI systems and might decertify the ones which reject the enforcements.
Internet is an area of intensive techonological usage, as for digital surveillance on it. Therefore extension and efficiency of surveillance is directly proportional to the mastery of technology. Turkey is not a developer of Internet technology and censorship and surveillance technologies are imported. All these high cost technologies need organizational and technical competence for an efficient usage. However under these conditions, Turkey might be classified as a “developed” country on the issue of surveillance on Internet. For example, by December 2015, there exist over 900 lawsuits for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, most of which are online activities. It is believed that there are three sources of lawsuits: technical surveillance, individual complaint and social media observes employed by directly AKP, although the ratio of three is uncertain.
As a result of technical and organisational weakness, it might be concluded that the digital surveillance in Turkey is innocent when compared to global surveillance and data-matching of US origin information monopolies. For example, in Google’s database, data on billions of people’s private lives and personal information exist. Windows 10 of Microsoft record all the movements of users on their software. All these facts indicates the necessity to increase the awareness of users about digital surveillance both globally and locally.
- HATE SPEECH AND DISCRIMINATIVE DISCOURSE ON INTERNET ENVIRONMENT
The ideas that construct the theoretical foundation of communication and the simple and basic “speaker-word-listener” human communication model that were based on the Aristotelian understanding of “in order to have a communication, there have to be a speaker, a listener and a word which is transferred among the two” have not been only brought into a different state, but also our expectations from communication and our behaviors have transformed by the advent of internet. The basis of new media as the basic outcome of the internet environment and Internet technologies induced certain changes upon communicational environments. We are continuosly being the witnesses of “hate speech” that is based on negative reflections and interpretations. This type of discourse and its underlying expressions cause a shocking effect of polarization in certain parts of the society as well as digital commons as a whole.
Before providing a definition of hate speech, it would be useful to give initial declarations about hate crime. We witness how the two, hate speech and hate crime, created conceptual confusion in both traditional and new media. As defined in Yasemin İnceoğlu’s book Nefret Söylemi ve/veya Nefret Suçları (Hate Speech and/or Hate Crimes) (2012): “While in hate crimes, although no prejudice motive exists, the act would constitute a crime; while in hate speech, it is not possible to punish the crime independently from prejudgement. Hate speech is a crime. If prejudgement is excluded from hate speech, there is no deed to be punished.” Hate crime is considered on basic distinctive demographical characteristics of the victim/s such as race, ethnic identity, nationality, language, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical and mental disabilities. For the construction of hate crime two different factors needed. First of all, the deed done by the agent must be considered as a crime in law. This crime might be injury, murder, threat, damage to property, sexual assault, insult, robbery, plunder etc. Secondly, the deed must be performed with prejudice motive because of the victims’ distinctive and characteristic features.
Hate crime and hate speech are different concepts from each other. The Council of Europe/Committee of Ministers as an advisory jurisdiction defined hate speech in 1997 as follows: “the term ‘hate speech’ shall be understood as covering all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify racial hatred, xenophobia, antiSemitism or other forms of hatred based on intolerance, including: intolerance expressed by aggressive nationalism and ethnocentrism, discrimination and hostility against minorities, migrants and people of immigrant origin.”
Spreading of hate speech through new media environments has escalated much more and for ordinary people each of these discourses are considered natural and normal. In the book that has been published under the editorship of Tuğrul Çomu Yeni Medyada Nefret Söylemi (Hate Speech in New Media) (2010); Burak Doğu in his article named “Sanal Nefret Pratikleri: İnternet’te Nefret Söylemi ve Karşı Örgütlenmeler” (Virtual Hate Practices: Hate Speech on Internet and counter-organizations” classifies hate speech as “through a wide range of political (racist, doctirinarian, neo-Nazi, skinhead, member of Ku Klux Klan, pro-life), xenophobic (the ones which organize against strangers and different ethnic origins of immigrants or immigrant-originated ones), transphobic (discriminatory against transexuals and transexuality), religous (semitic, anti-semitic, radical Islamists, anti-Islamic) or misogenic (the ones who hate women) persons or groups that act prejudiced and/or biased even in a narrow minded way.”  If İnceoğlu’s hate crime definition, Council of Europe/Committe of Ministers’ Advisory Jurisdiction and Doğu’s hate speech on Internet categorization are to be merged, we end up with the conclusion that the field of new media is that of “uncontrolled” acts.
Within the scope of this study, under this section we analyze hate speech and discriminatory discourse produced and circulated online during the time interval covering the months through January and November in 2015. The specific agenda of Turkey during these dates are reflected. Some topics/events/expressions will be discussed on the basis of how they were received in different occasions.
In January-November 2015, some distinctive issues concerning political groups, ethnic origins, foreigners, refugees, women, LGBTI, religious groups and disabled persons are as below:
Hate Speech towards Political Groups/Ethnic Origins
Hate speech against political groups and ethnical origin with its political dimension is “a discourse that aims at reviving backwards ideas and theories that had been defeated by democratic struggle and therefore is a discourse in the purpose of demolishing the successes of democratic struggle.”  Hate speech against political groups, especially for two different periods of 2015, June elections November elections, might be distinctively identified. It can be said that campaign periods of the elections, the collapse of the coalition argument, the renewal of the elections created an open atmosphere for hate speech on Internet. On social media like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and EkşiSözlük, we witnessed a political content of extreme comments and sharings.
On July 20, 2015, Şanlıurfa/Suruç bombing occurred with 34 citizens dead and over 100 injured. Immediately after this tragic event the crime scene images were shared on YouTube and other news websites under the hashtag, #SuruçtaKatliamVar. Lots of comments such as “Crap them down, dogs” were posted. This kind of hate speech was produced immediately after the Ankara bombing that took place on October 10, 2015 in Ankara Sıhhiye Square during a Peace Meeting. After the suicide bombing in Ankara under an entry in EkşiSözlük, “the right to not to be sorry about the ones who died in Ankara bombing” although there existed contra-views and some entries explaining that “to be sorry is not about human nature”; it was observed that there were entries that were happy about the bombing and on the basis of it attacking Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). Again, images of Hacı Birlik were featured whose dead body was tortured, tied-up on a armored car and dragging. Cemal Aydoğan, a university student in Ilmenau Technical University in Germany, commented that “What is the big deal about it? Cannot police freely walk his dog?”. The university council after proving that the student held the account, sacked Aydoğan on the basis of hate speech.
Two elections took place in 2015 and during these elections, lots of hate speech and discriminatory discourse were used by candidates of different political parties. One of the most common examples is for the abbreviation of AKP inserting “party of losing minds” (Aklını Kaybedenlerin Partisi).
On November during an interview, Prof. Celal Şengör uses expressions such as “To make eat shit is not torture”, “People who live in Istanbul do not fear from earthquake because they are stupid” and “I saw they say hero for such a bandit, Deniz Gezmiş”. These expressions were made trend-topic on EkşiSözlük under the titles of “Celal Şengör’s saying that eating shit is good” and on Twitter under the hashtag of #CelalŞengör, lots of hate speech and discriminatory discourse were used, some of which had comments like “Kurds who eat shit” and “God bless Celal Şengör” posted under.
Hate Speech against Foreigners and Refugees
A social and cultural polarization exists since 2013 on the basis of the refugees arriving from Syria to Turkey. This polarization might be understood from the usage of the terms “refugee”, “illegal refugee”, “asylum-seeker” and “immigrant” etc. Hate speech about Syrian refugees might be experienced on all kinds of social media platforms. There are plenty of platforms that Syrian refugees are labeled as “beggar”, or “terorists”.
There are entries that carry the name of “Syrian beggars” and “Syrian Drug Dealers” on EkşiSözlük. Apart from these platforms, on Twitter it might be said that not only hate speech, but also discriminatory discourse are conducted such as “#ifIfoundmoneyontheground. Discourses about Syrian refugees may be considered as being far away from humanitarian arguments and they are constructed upon the legitimization of security of social life as a marginalizing discourse.
After oppression and violent politics over Uygur Turks by China, some organizations and groups were opened especially on Facebook, carrying out their activities on streets saying that “if one Turk is worth the whole world, it is your turn, the Turk”. They attacked Far Eastern tourists, assuming that they were specifically from China with reference only to their slanting eyes. All these attacks became news on mainstream media and on social media. In addition, after an Irish fighter beat an salesman in İstanbul, it turned into widespread news with the video under the title of “Irish boxer knocked Aksaray shopkeepers down” and celebrated on Twitter and a competitor was threatened on a TV show by giving him to the Irish man. As it is obvious, violent language is highly contagious in Turkey and is celebrated by large masses.
Here, one positive example would be Aylan Kurdi’s tragic death while he and his family were trying to reach Greece on Aegean Sea, the most tragic image was Aylan’s dead body. The discourse and comments on this tragic event on Twitter did not include hate speech or cause discrimination. Under the hashtag of #humanitywashedashore, the flow created positive awareness about the Syrian refugee crisis.
Hate Speech against Women
Murdering of Özgecan Aslan ve Değer Deniz were two significant examples in 2015 because of the way they were represented in social media. Especially the tweet of Nihat Doğan saying that “If you wear a mini skirt, you shall not scream when you are assaulted by the perverts that the secular system forms” (“Sizde Mini eteği giyip soyunup laik sistemin ahlaksızlaştırdığı sapıklar tarafından tacize uğrayınca da bas bas bağırmayacaksın @ahusungur1”) became a real hate-speech igniter. This tweet and this type of content shows that hate speech against women is not oly discursive but also abetting and construct a direct causality between morality and dressing style.
Değer Deniz, who got killed after being raped in her home in İstanbul/Beyoğlu by a man that broke into her house through a window, turned into hate speech on the basis of living alone as a woman, being a musician and the event was represented as a simple robbery. But in social media, in a short term, it was understood that the event had different angles and under hashtags of #saynotowomenmurderings etc., solidarity against violence towards women was initiated. After both rapes and murders, a campaign under the hashtag of #sendeanlat (#youtellyourstory) started and lots of women started to tell their stories about sexual assault. Although at the beginning these narratives were considered having positive effects, after some time, these entries were unfortunately manipulated and de-functionalized.
After a short while, Chinese state artist Xu Hongfei’s “Fat and Happy Women” sculpture was exhibited in Nişantaşı İstanbul, it was shared through platforms like Instagram. Although the exhibition aimed awareness of representations against patriarchal gender biases and women; in social media the purpose of the exhibition turned upside down and became a basis for naturalization and reproduction of patriarchal discriminatory discourse on women’s bodies.
Hate Speech towards LGBTI individuals
Without any reference to the hot agenda of the country, hate speech and discriminatory practices against LGBTI individuals are continuous and widespread both in traditional and social media. Conservative news websites regularly broadcast against LGBTI individuals and trigger hate speech.
Before June 7 elections, during the period of declaring MP canditates, one of the most “discussed” candidate was HDP’s Eskişehir candidate Barış Sulu who openly mentions the sexual orientation. Akit Newspaper on May 19 featured a news entitled “HDP’s pervert MP candidate Barış Sulu” and under this news there existed comments like “homosexuality is a disgusting disease” and homosexuality was considered specific to the USA and Europe, all LGBTI people in Turkey were ignored. Even ethnic identity based hate speech was added to this discourse and it was said that LGBTI people were “Armenian seed”. All these expressions indicate that hate speech is accelerating. A similar story about a transsexual candidate from Kadıköy/Istanbul is also one that is reminiscent of similar complexities.
Another example was the news entitled “LGBTI individuals are perverts” on Habervaktim website after HDP and CHP declared that they support LGBTI Associations of KaosGL and SpoD. Just before the elections under the hashtag related to HDP, lots of comments and tweets were posted displaying homosexuality as a disease and relating it to Armenian’ness.
There were homophobic discourses under every video, blog texts and other social media content that were prepared for the 13th Pride March on June 28, 2015. Most of the comments proposed that their hate speech about the pride was because the Pride was on Ramadan; homosexuality is against religion according to them. If we consider the fact that some other past prides were also on Ramadan and less hate speech was exerted on them, it can be concluded that so much hate speech was a consequence of political attitude that created a domino effect.
Hate speech derived from TV series’ content might be exemplified under the thread of “the man who watches Med Cezir” on EkşiSözlük. Hate speeches against LGBTI people were conducted on entries such as “he is highly a faggot”, “he is inclined, if you stay with two of them in a house, you lose your sexual identity” etc.
It is also known that LGBTI individuals are exposed to threats and hate speech directly on their own social media accounts. On the other hand, it should be mentioned that campaigns against hate crime and speech towards LGBTI people on social media were held mostly under the hashtags like #donthate (#nefretme), #transcinayetleripolitiktir (#transmurderingsarepolitical), #eşcinsellerdenrahatsızolmuyorum (#Iamcomfortablewithhomosexuals).
Religious Faith and Sect based Hate Speech
During March 2015, a video entitled, “They made my veiled sister shit in the hospital forcefully” was released and under this video lots of hate speech on religious faith might be exemplified. Some of the comments were like “she cannot be Turkish, she is absolutely an Arab”; some of them were like “She is absolutely pro-AKP”. The event is about a veiled woman who pooped in the middle of a waiting room in an hospital and nobody even knows what happened really (the space was an hospital and the woman might be sick). All comments were an open and clear example of religion based hate speech.
Religious hate speech is mostly combined with nationality, sexual orientation etc. in Turkey and it was a normalized situtation in 2015 as well. During June 7 elections, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that “We do not declare candidates as muftus in Diyarbakır and as homosexuals in the Aegean Region”. His speech was a comparison of religious faith,and sexual orientation, posing homosexuality as an insult to religion.
Armed attack to French humor magazine Charlie Hebdo was widely covered in both traditional and social media in Turkey. Although so many comments and interpretations about the attacks were posted, generally on Twitter “there is a infidelity in this issue” expression was mostly used as an insult in reference to magazine’s past caricatures portraying Prophet Muhammed. After the attacks when Cumhuriyet newspaper published the caricatures of Charlie Hebdo, many comments displaying hate speech based on religious faith were posted.
On social media, it is possible to see that the ones who do not vote for rightist parties and Alevis were considered as infidels, veiled women were seen as backward and as a political label. It is possible to say that female bodies are considered as the panacea of hate speech based on religious faith.
Hate Speech against Disabled Person
Although not being so common, there is incessant hate speech on disabled persons. Changing according to the hot agenda, this kind of hate speech shows an elevation lately. The most concrete example is about content sharing on the beggars who fake as disabled. This kind of content gives an impression that “swindlers use disability as a technique” and create a labeling on disabled persons.
Recently we saw a video of a disabled person on Facebook circulating. It is a content about Bora Acar Zöngür who could not pass from the disabled route because of awkwardly parked cars and he started the video by saying that “I apologize for taking your time”. While lots of people agreed with him on this video, some posted comments including another type of hate speech and discriminatory linguistic practices such as “Yo faggots, take your car away from our brother’s road!”.
We may mention about some positive consequences about hate speech on disabled persons. Through Twitter with the hashtag of #movementforovercome (#aşmakiçinhareket) many thoughts and comments were shared about creating a solidarity movement, support for usability and access. In addition, Facebook restricts hate speech against disabled persons as a matter of ban and complaint.
As a conclusion, although Internet provides a function of socialization in a much more broad sense, it might be said that the thin line between democracy and freedom does have its own attributions about expression and style. Depending on the fact that the depreciation of knowledge and the increasing of political, cultural and economical intolerance, the hate speech is observed as a big problem in new media environments and in the user content generation. If we analyze hate speech cases above, it can be concluded that our social lives are improved by internet technologies, we can also see certain instances of hate speech that are normalized via social media in January – November 2015.
- TROLLING AND CYBER BULLYING
Under this section, two different phenomona are to be examined roughly: trolling and cyber-bullying. Firstly, we will focus on the culture of trolling in Turkey. According to Bishop (2014) trolling is the most attenuating concept of internet culture in this decade of the 21st century. Especially in Twitter environment, troll culture is seen to have two different types of aims: political manipulation and entertainment. Trolling that aims political manipulation is used for production of political hate speech and of lynch-culture. Especially the ones who are called as Ak-Trolls produce pro-AKP speech acts and target all kinds of social opposition (parties, movements, media, non-governmental organizations or individuals) in order to discredit them; organic relations of AK trolls to AKP is obvious when their speech acts are considered.
Entertainment trolls in Turkey produce critical approaches also on political, economical and social events. Speech acts of entertainment trolls are dominated by cynicism, humor, and irony. Behavioral patterns such as off-tracking, baiting, and provocation of a discussion exist. In the study of “Sosyal Medya ve Trollük Olgusu” (Social Media and Trolling Phenomenon) (2015) by Binark, Karataş, Çomu, and Koca, above mentioned are the most common behavioral patterns that are exemplified as Twitter trolls’ speech acts.
Cyber bullying phenomenon, although it is not common in Turkey, is an act that youngsters carry their ordinary life bullying behaviour to social media environment. Cyber bullying is the usage of new media environment in order to harm a person of a group of people on purpose. Cyber bullying is the recurrence of this behaviour. According to Tolga Arıcak (2015) cyber bullying might occur as such: nicknaming, mocking, threatening, disclosing a friend on the basis of his/her socially blameworthy behaviour, spreading rumours, circulating private photos and videos of ones without his/her permission, opening Facebook or Twitter accounts in someone’s name and spreading improper content and behave in a manner that discredit the one’s prestige, excluding someone from social media environments.
Cyber victimization is “essentially someone’s exposure to cyber aggression and cyber bullying”.  Since new media literacy skill is relatively low in Turkey, possibility of being open to these assaults might be high. EU Kids Online Projet’s research on EU member countries and Turkey would be reviewed on this manner. Especially http://siberzorbalik.net/index.php?lg=tr website and TUBITAK sponsored coutry-wide research numbered as 113k170 by Emel Akça and İdil Sayımer REHBER: Temel Eğitim Gençliğinde Siber Zorbalık – Öğrenciler, Aileler ve Eğitimciler İçin Bir Rehber (2015) (GUIDE: Cyber Bullying in Primary Education Youth-A Guide for Students, Families and Educators) would be significant resources for those who are interested in the field.
5.FREE SOFTWARE IN TURKEY
Turkey’s acquaintance with free software on the basis of public spheres and massive usage practices was with Pardus. It should be also mentioned that in the initial stage, much more dispersed and small groups of people used Unix/Linux and operating systems that bridged open source philosophy for both the hardware and software. However it was Pardus that created an acceleration and source for the development of free software movement.
History of Linux Users’ Association (Linux Kullanıcıları Derneği-LKD) might be traced down to 1992s. Linux users firstly organized themselves on the basis of an e-mail list in 1993. They organized their first face-to-face meeting during a i-net-tr conference in 1995. Starting from 1995 to 2000s they organized themselves as a user group at the virtual world. Their discussions were mostly on cooperation about technical issues. They decided to organize as an association since they wanted to make GNU/Linux spread through a series of wide range activities.
Despite the clarity in the philosophy of free software and in spite of the fact that there existed no confusion about Turkish “özgür” (liberated) word unlike its equivalent in English “free”, at the beginning of 1990s some users very consciously chose to translate free software as “free of charge software” and avoided to use the term “özgür”. It is possible to evaluate this choice as a cultural reception. Even again for a long time “free” term was translated as “serbest” (having connotations related to both easy and also open). More interestingly, we see serbest instead of özgür in the very first by-law of LKD. Some users explained why they had chosen serbest over özgür giving references to the political structure of Turkey. There are two different reasons behind finalizing the distinction between “Free Software (FS)–Özgür Yazılım” and “Open Source Code (OSC)-Açık Kaynak Kod” that might also be traced in LKD lists: First reason is the transformation of GNU/Linux volunteers’ introduction into the market after graduation with the motivation of doing their most loved and best mastery. Second is the social practices of LKD and FS/OSC groups. Throughout the world all discussions about free software and open source code took place under certain social conditions. However, non-existence of these conditions made all the discussions artificial in Turkey. Unlike the rest of the world, there were no such contradiction that was caused from the tension in between the programmers who needed continuous free open source and the companies that wished to use the programmers’ labour without any charge; those kinds of discussions were necessary though. Activities of LKD, localization activities of different virtual groups and the development of Internet with the increase in the number of programmers who participated in the international projects; it slowly became clear that “free” of “free software” was much more about “freedom of production”. Again at the same period, some companies emerged that worked on open source work models and sometimes over-lapping sometimes contradictory interests of the programmers and the companies started to prevail the process.
LKD played an engrossing role throughout these processes, while it changed, it made others change, too. Whether members or not, lots of users and fans gathered together in their lists. Especially with the free of charge seminars throughout Turkey, they tried to reach the masses. However, LKD did not stop itself with the usage of GNU/Linux unlike the similar groups abroad. LKD played an efficient role in the e-transformation project of Turkey.
What do free software developers do in Turkey?
In the focus of free software developers, activities of localization exist. There are several free software developers who participate in the international projects and develop softwares and there are others who contribute for local projects. However, it can be said that the activities focus intensively on localization. Contrary to the common understanding, localization is not restricted to translation of English programme menus into Turkish. Localization necessitates the programme in question to be transformed according to the cultural and regional features. In this regard, localization activities are not specific to free software. That in free software the open source code is open to the usage of everyone does not leave localization activity to the iniative of the firm. If any one in any country would like to use the software in question, all they need to do is to transcribe the software according to their own culture. Therefore, anyone can participate in the process with their own capacity and use it according to their own needs.
Most of the software in GNU/Linux system has been localized in Turkey. OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird are localized for Windows as well as for GNU/Linux.
Local GNU/Linux Distribution
GNU/Linux has a very modular structure: it consists of different parts that might be variable. This variability gives GNU/Linux a flexible structure. This different structuralizations that are composed according to different individual preferences are named as GNU/Linux Distribution. For example, the first local distribution Turkuaz emerged in the second half of 1990s with the demand of a Turkish operating system. The project was conducted by a cadre of no more than 10 people but was welcomed warmly and became a team of a hundred people in such a short time. During that period, what happened to local distribution happened to Turkuaz: to be oriented towards Turkuaz was criticized instead of international Red Hat and Slackware that existed at that period. But Turgut Uyar and his friends challenged these critiques underlining that their project of local distribution would contribute to other activities of distribution. Eventually they turned out to be right. For example, during that period, while Red Hat’s setup was completely in English, it realized the potential of Turkuaz and added first Turkish and secondly Portuguese and afterwards all other languages in its setup. Therefore, localization activities were not only consumers but also were those that contribute to social accumulation of knowledge. The Turkuaz Project faded after Turgut Uyar’s leaving who had huge amount of labour on the project. However, there existed two significant gain in addition to Red Hat example: first is that Turkuaz lead GNU/Linux introduced to the masses widely. Secondly, it proved that people might come together in order to achieve good products.
What comes after Turkuaz was Gelecek. Its advantage in comparison with Turkuaz was having a professionally conducted distribution. But it was its disadvantage at the same time. Gelecek’s advantage was its being related to a company rather than individuals, which gave a feeling of security to the users (especially to the institutional users). But because it was being developed by a company it could not attract enough volunteer contribution. Along with Turkuaz and Gelecek there emerged different local distributions, conducted by individual or small group attempts: Boreas, Turkix, Truva, Pratix. Yet, neither Turkuaz and Gelecek nor those mentioned might achieve the success of Pardus.
As a product of the Uludağ Project, Pardus had an important advantage: the projet was conducted under the control of TUBITAK and the cadres were financed by the state. Consequently Turkuaz’s destiny would not happen for Pardus. Because it had been financed by the state, volunteer contribution was available. While free software developing volunteers avoided participating in companies’ commercial products, Pardus’ public and national features created an atmosphere of attraction not only for free software developers but also for any kind of computer fans.
With Pardus, free software licences became a concrete discussion matter. While the managers of the project often mentioned that its licence belonged to GPL since the project had been conducted by public resources and that what comes from public should go to public, these kinds of statements made volunteers participate with much more enthusiasm. At last Pardus emerged as a GNU/Linux distribution that contained localization activities and also enriched by new additions. Yet Turkey gained another significant achievement from this product: Pardus created a user habit that not only consumes but also produces and shares while consuming.
Why free software?
Free software represents a new society form, solidarity and cooperation amongst people through Internet. Its effects are so clear in any other sectors although everything started as a software programming movement: Open access, open course materials, open hardware, open science, open biology, open medicine, open architecture are on the agenda. Free software movement lead the usage of human mind for the interests of masses and sharing of it.
Free software are primary for countries’ austerity, employment, security and rivalry advantages. Free software are significant not only because they are free of charge more importantly because they are safe and secure, because they may work in simple hardwares without viruses.
If we come to the representation of numbers, there exist no qualified data about Linux usage in Turkey. Besides, LKD’s activity of Free Software and Free Web Days indicated the considerable number and quality of users. The demand for the Linux Camp, and the courses of Akademik Bilişim shows that although not being satisfactory, Linux is very well known in Turkey. Free software is important for a countries’ security, austerity, rivalry power and for human resources. Politically even for the people who are against international monopolies, the average rate of protecting and using free software is too low. In our universities there are very few institutions that sponsor and use free software.
Students must be introduced to free software during primary school. Every citizen should learn not the trademarks but the concepts and should learn how to prefer among different choices. National center(s) which support public services must exist and lead them. Public services and actually the whole country must give equal chance to free software. Universities should support free software and research, product development for free software developers. Free software volunteers should be in much more cooperation and should be involved in informatics and Internet policies. In short, all actors of free software in the world, the public institutions, universities, NGOs and companies should be in cooperation and be supportive for soliciting large masses by training, projects and funds.
Let’s listen to the words of Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Akgül, Founding President of İnternet Teknolojileri Derneği (Internet Technologies Association): “Free software and Internet should be considered as a tool of the target that focuses on our country’s development, to be a knowledge society, to become united with the world, to have a dialogue with the world and for solidarity in sharing. We should think of the philosophy of free software and its production capacity on the basis of humanities’ common interests.”
- ONLINE ART PRACTICES IN TURKEY
Since we have added this section differently than previous years, it would be necessary to define digital art and new media art as a first point. This section is consisted of defining concepts and systematic evaluation of Turkey’s 2015 art practices, which are subdivided respectively as producers of art that are artists, independent projects and initiativies, instutions and galleries, art patronage, online art broadcasting.
Digital art is composed of a wide range of tools and creative systems that use computer-based, electronic, numeric code systems while producing art objects. However new media art expresses Internet mediated online art that is based upon digital coding system. Although new media art is in the scope of digital art, every digital art production cannot be considered as a new media art. Therefore, pre-Internet period should be put aside. Usage of these two concepts interchangeably might cause confusion.
When recent period art history is analyzed, the very first examples of digital art appeared in West starting from 1950s in the video works of artists who included technology and new communication tools (in the USA, development of television and broadcasting technologies) into their production. Last period of 1980s are defined as the periods that digital art improved and its turning into new media art by Internet becoming widespread. Along with the advancing of computer technologies in a high speed and Internet creating a differential power over other communicational tools, we witnessed that artists used digital environments and internet commonly in production and representation of their artworks.
Internet gaining popular after 1990s made it easy for artists to create alternative exhibition spaces, to construct free artistic environments that were not restricted with time and space, to be free from the monopoly of museums and galleries and to achieve audiences from all over the world. Besides, museums, galleries and collectors started to give importance to exist on Internet networks. 35 years after its first emergent forms, new media art now lives its maturity age.
We witnessed new media art starting from the beginning of 2000s in Turkey although the very first examples were restricted in specific surroundings. New media art production and representations in Turkey try to develop although being delayed some 30-35 years compared to Western geographies. In Turkey, new media art is still defined as a very much “new” area. Despite of the fact that productions and exhibitions exist in this field, it is obvious that there is no artwork that might be situated in international literature.
Even if a serious escalation might be observed in the tendency of artists’ encapsulating the opportunities for the usage of digital art production, there are hardly any multidisciplinary art works that were produced in cooperation with technology, science and engineering fields. Prominent artists with global vision in this field are Ekmel Ertan, Başak Şenova, Bager Akbay, Burak Arıkan, Refik Anadol, Murat Geren, Genco Gülan, Ali Mihrabi, Osman Koç, Ebru Yetişkin, Erdem Dilbaz and Candaş Şişman.
These artists via their productions and attempts have pioneered projects that contribute to new media art in Turkey. At the beginnings of 2000s, significant art projects were accomplished under the initiatives of new media art platforms formed by individual attempts. All these works contributed to art surroundings, art sale, galeries, exhibitions and collectors that were interested in new media art. Some of these formations have subsisted till today while some others faded and dispersed. At this point, the organic relations of artists’ initiatives and institutions and art financiers might not be differentiated strictly, it should be considered through institutional relations and it should not be forgotten that independent projects are also financed by big finance groups.
One of these initiatives is “Web Biennial” that was established in 2013 with the initiative of Genco Gülan under the curation of Marcus Graf, which is promoted by İstanbul Çağdaş Sanat Müzesi (Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum). The Biennial that was organized in 2014 is conducted upon portals constituted on webbienal.org, which provide access to art works on the computers that are connected to each other. Contributor websites or projects are introduced under a specific title that is situtated under the general title on Web Bienal home page.
Again, another significant and pioneering initiative Beden-İşlemsel Sanatlar Derneği (Body-Operational Arts Assocciation- BİS) organizes AmberFest on the axis of technology and art since 2007. AmberFestival was organized with the sponsorship of European Culture Capital 2010 during its first three years and afterwards Festival organized itself with its own resources and the acquired sponsorships from different European Projects and it continues to be an independent art platform. However, for the last two years, because of the heavy procedures of European Union Projects’ the Festival organization have renounced from application to those projects. With a crew of volunteers, AmberPlatform faces with problems that are rooted to not only the limited labour force but also the lack of understanding by sponsors and art followers in Turkey about how technology and art axis should meet. Ninth AmberFest were organized on November 6-15, 2015 under the main theme of “Laboro Ergo Sum-I work therefore I am”. In the scope of festival’s pre-performance “Duyarlı Mesajlarla Yaratıcı Dokunuşlar” (Creative Touches with Sensitive Messages) were carried out and during September 7-13 and September 31 and November 1 under the title of “The City and the Labour” several workshops were organized on data-visualisation and conscious content production. During the last years, the AmberFest organized festivals under the main themes of Ses ve Tutunma (Voice and Attachment), Interpasif Persona Siborglaştıramadıklarımızdan mısınız? (Interpasive Persona, Are you from not the ones that we cannot made cyborg?), Verikent (DataCity), Parataktik Müşterekler( Paratactic Commons), Fişe Taktınız mı? (Did you plug it in), Merkezsizleşme (Decentrification). Aside from all these activities the AmberPlatform carried out pioneering productions and exhibitions during all 2015. The Exhibition of “Post Dijital Tarihçeler: 1960ların ve 1970lerin Medya Sanatından Kesitler” (Post Digital Histories: Intersections from 1960s and 1970s’ Media Art) were organized in Akbank Sanat on December 16, 2014 and February 21, 2015, which was the first exhibition that analyzed the new media art history in Turkey. One of the significant contributions of this exhibition was artelectronicmedia.com’s archive’s translation into Turkish and was the addition of Turkey’s artists’ and their works to the archive.
During the 15th İstanbul Bienal of“TUZLU SU: Düşünce Biçimleri Üzerine Bir Teori” (SALTY WATER: A Theory Thought Forms) was organized on October 5 and November 1, during which several new media artworks were exhibited.
Contemporary İstanbul was organized in between November 12 and 15, 2015. 12-15 Kasım tarihlerinde gerçekleşti. In Contemporary İstanbul, Plugin New Art Section had a separate department for the third time, which exhibited an X-CHANGE curatorial theme with Ebru Yetişkin’s suggestion. This exhibition was comprised of kinetic and fluid sculptures, interactive and immerce designs, hologram works as well as video installations, which was the only exhibition that new media artworks were represented in a separate category.
Apart from exhibitions another development on the issue of new media art was the speech of Ruth Mackenzie (the creative and founder director of The Space) on the topic of “Curatorship of Digital Space: Invention of a New Art Form” as a part of the programme “Müzeler Konuşuyor: Konuğumuz Birleşik Krallık” (Museums Speaks: Our Guest is UK) that was organized by İstanbul Modern and British Council together. The Space, which was established in 2014 by BBC and Arts Council England, is a platform of interdisciplinary artists coming together in order to produce digital treatises that anybody might experience via their mobile phones, tablets and computers.
Digital collections created a potential of new interactions for galleries, museums and instutitions. Virtual museums and archives, lots of which we might come across throughout Europe and the USA, have started to improve in Turkey. As a member of ICOM, Turkey supports the attempts of digitalization of museums in order to advance museums at an international level. As a part of these projects throughout Turkey there exist 38 museums and virtual museums with the support of Culture and Tourism Ministry. Moreover, different foundations and institutions have digital archives of their own specific museums and galleries. Masumiyet Museum, Sabancı Museum, Rahmi Koç Museum, and Eczacıbaşı Museum might be counted as large-scale museums that work on virtual museum. But, on the Google Art Project/Google Cultural Institute there are only 8 museums from Turkey on the institutional level.
If we analyze the digital archives that galleries have compiled, we see that almost every gallery has a website that announces its activities. In some of these websites there are artworks digitalized while others have exhibition archives and artists’ portfolios. However, we may say that there exist a traditional network of institutions, galleries, collectors and artists. Artworks are mostly digitalized by online photographs of them. Yet there are several artists and initiatives that try to create a space apart from petrified art spaces. Arayüz Gallery is one of the most common alternative platforms which is a non-profit organization, to which 409 artists and over 2000 artworks contribute.
Although not very common, we may see examples of art trade through Internet, the main ones of which are Mixerarts, Artnivo, Art50, Sanat365, Esedition.
Since there exists no research on online shopping in Turkey, we do not know the ratio of transactions through these websites. According to Hiscox’s 2015 “Online Art Trade” report new media comprises of only 10% of whole sales. Online art buyers are from Europe by 57%, North America by 26%, from Asia by 10% from Latin America by 3% and from Middle East by 3%. It is very easy to evaluate the situation of online art trade if we look at these data.
The buyers who buy artwork for investment chooses to follow artists in traditional ways. Therefore for art buyers, collectors and investors, the galleries are still the pioneering space. At this point, individual social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Flicker, blogs etc.) create alternative spaces for independent artists. Facebook and Instagram are the two major social space for the art world. According to Hiscox’s report, percentage of usage of these two is 52% for Facebook and 34% for Instagram. Popularity of Facebook and Instagram is because of the fact that both buyers and artists might interact through these mediums. In addition to these, DeviantArt website is a popular space for artists’ portfolios, nowadayas Behance.net is much more preferred. SoundCloud is another space for audio art as an alternative space for digital artists.
While social media narrows the gap in between individual and professional Internet usage, art production, exhibition and shopping behaviors are also changing positively on the basis of social media.
Sanatatak and Sanat Online are two websites which protect their continuity on the issue of art news and updated cultural and artistic news. In addition to these two, Ekavatrtv established in 2008 is the first and unique online art TV of Turkey.
By the way, we should remember Özgür Uçkan who passed away on July 10, 2015. His contributions to the area of new media art will be remembered.
It can be concluded that in Turkey digital art and new media art are still behind Western examples, the reasons of which may be summarized as follows:
In Turkey, the main problem is the lack of technological infrastructure, expertise, possibilities of research and development of the institutions that provide art education.
- There exists a traditional relation network among artists, audiences, buyers. Visibility of artists, either a part of a gallery or not, cannot be achieved independently from market. Therefore, online relations are again the ones that exist in the traditional networks.
- Artistic works’ sales and the investment on art are carried out in a restricted surrounding in Turkey. In addition to this fact, new media art is chosen less as an investment tool or as a part of any collection.
- For the artist, new technologies demand a different capability and have much more cost.
- Art viewers are relatively few in Turkey.
- Art and technology relation is not acknowledged by art financiers enough in Turkey.
- MEDIA LITERACY AND NEW MEDIA LITERACY
According to 2015 “Research on Household Members’ Information Techonologies” of Türkiye İstatistik Kurumu (Turkish Statistical Institute-TÜİK) internet users between the ages of 16-74 is 55,9%. This ratio is 65,8% for men and 46,1% for women, which indicates the gender inequality for the access to Internet. Additionally, the percentage of households which have access to Internet is 69,5 as of April 2015, while those who do not have access to Internet claimed “they do not need Internet”, “they do not know how to use the internet well” and also mentioned the high costs. Furthermore, 96,8% of households have mobile/smart phones. In the scope of the research, intended use of Internet is analyzed, according to which “for the first three months of 2015, while 80,9% of the individuals who uses Internet is for creating a profile on social media, sending messages and sharing images or contents; while 70,2% of the users read online news, newspaper or journals, 66,3% of the users search for the information about health issues, 62,1% upload texts, images, photos, videos and music in any website, and 59,4% search information about products and services”.
According to TÜİK data, it is observed that the gender (in)equality gap continues to exist. Moreover, it might be concluded that the aim of the individuals who uses Internet is highly for entertainment purposes and for following up on news while they do not use Internet for scientific, academic or artistic purposes. In this context, on the basis of individuals’ Internet usage practices in Turkey; it is possible to assert that the users do not know and/or do not have the enough capability of the new media literacy; the ability and knowledge of digital content follow up, production and management including security, privacy, ethics and creativity. Although ordinary people’s habits of Internet usage indicates a lack of knowledge about the new media literacy, state institutions, universities and schools, non-governmental organizations and associations organized activities and produced content on the issue in 2015. With this purpose, under this section of the report we would like to propose a review and an analysis of the studies/works about the new media literacy in Turkey.
Activities of State Institutions
With the initiative of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), the new media literacy course which was organized for the first time in 2006-2008 in pilot regions started to be taught in all schools as an elective course after the 2007-2008 term; as of 2015 approximately 4 million students have completed the course. Based on the findings of the RTÜK’s 2013 data, “Research on the Media Usage Habits of Children” underlines the fact that secondary school children use the new media more than TV and access to these environments through smart phones; “RTÜK, Minisitry of National Education and academicians from different universities renewed all the media literacy course programme that has been taught since 2006 and was constructed upon tool-based information rather than applied approach on books, newspaper, TV and Internet.” After 2014-2015 term a new course material was prepared for the new programme that was thaught in all secondary schools.
“Media Literacy Teaching Material” was prepared by Prof. Erol Nezih Orhon, Prof. Nilüfer Pembecioğlu, Assist. Prof. Adnan Altun, Assist. Prof. Sait Tüzel, and Assist. Prof. Ebubekir Çakmak under the editorship of Assist. Prof. Ebubekir Çakmak. Newly prepared media literacy course programme and teaching material comprises of four chapters: “My Funny Media”, “Asking questions to the media”, “Let me Think first” and “My Media”. In the chapter “My Funny Media”, topics such as the place of media in our lives, the differences between media users and consumers, content and form in media, entertainment media production are analyzed and a “media diet” is suggested for the students. It is suggested that “much is less” logic should be implemented for media. In chapter “Asking questions to the media”, topics such as access to information, fiction of the media, facts in the media, and interpretation in the media are mentioned. In the chapter “Let me Think first”, the facts behind the seen in the media, power of cogency in the media and advertisements are elaborated. In the chapter “My Media” social media, awareness of discourse in media are emphasized and poster design is shown. Accordingly, it is possible to claim that the newly prepared course material includes some positive knowledge and homeworkfor the advancement of new media literacy. It is observed that in the course material the features of “entertainment, information and persuasion” of the media content is highlighted and the improvement in the abilities of “access, analyzing, interpretation, and production” of students is aimed. As for learning outputs, it is aimed that students are to be in the position of producing their own media content in the multimedia environments. Besides, it is mentioned that students might use these contents in the activities of “media literacy festival, media literacy day or media literacy fair” that are to be organized in their schools.
It is a very significant development that the newly prepared media literacy teaching material was structured with an awareness of the main features of new media literacy. However, although it is highlighted that media texts should be analyzed with a critical approach, some conservative views and some statements that are prone to be misunderstood are still there. For example, on page 17 of the material for the question of “How can we understand that we use media much more than we need?”, there is an answer of “If we observe that our success in the school is reducing”. The correlation of school success and new media consumption might cause misinterpretations.
It is possible to claim that the course material includes useful information for the development of new media literacy such as what to care about when searching on engines, digital story creating etc. However, the insistence on social media and its entertainment function create a significant lack of emphasizing other functions of new media. Again a specific example: On page 148, Wikipedia is exemplified for the potential of social media’s instructive potential and Wikipedia content generation is not explained. On the other hand, on page 153, it is significant for students that there exist warnings about the risks of social media. Yet, the section entitled “Risks of Internet” (between the pages 155-160) would be much more useful if it included examples and detailed information (addition of the concepts of trolling, hate speech, numeric manipulations in new media environments etc.). Likewise, emphasis on social media might make students think new media only consist of social media. Therefore, it would be useful to highlight new media apart from social media and to underline the pedagogical, artistic, cultural features of new media apart from entertainment. In addition, in this course material that is prepared on the basis of abilities, it should be mentioned that new media literacy is not only an ability but also an economic, ideological, and political asset. In conclusion, the material in question has some positive features when compared to the previous ones although it also has significant lacks on some important issues, some of which are mentioned above. It may be said that this lack should be complemented by improvements for future.
Additionally, on August 31-September 4, 2015, “Media Literacy Course Face to Face In-service Training” was organized by RTÜK and Ministry of National Education. In this training, sessions entitled “The Philosophy and Purposes of the Media Literacy Course” and “Online Security of the Children” were organized and evaluations made about the content of the course book of “Media Literacy Teaching Material”.
Another state authorities’ and instutions’ activity was “Education Communication Network” (EBA) developed in the scope of Fatih Project. As a part of the EBA Project via Eba.gov.tr website provides interactive content production and share for the teachers and according to Dinçer Ateş, Headquarter of Innovation and Education Technologies, the project completed its infrastructure on 455 thousands classes and had a broadband Internet connection When the content shared on eba.gov.tr is evaluated, it is observed that they mostly represent nationalistic-conservative tendencies and have an ideological bias. In this context, it is possible to claim that the project does not overlap with the critical thinking methodology of the new media literacy but mostly contains legal ideology.
Congress, Symposium, Workshop etc. Activities of Universities and Scientific Institutions
In 2015 in Turkey with the participation of several shareholders a congress was organized during which different conceptual and theoric discussions were carried out. With the contributions of Alternatif Bilişim Derneği, Kadir Has University and TÜBİTAK, Second National New Media Studies National Congress’ main theme was “new media literacy” and took place in Kadir Has University in between February 26-27, 2015.
In the call for papers document of the Second New Media Studies National Congress, it has been underlined that new media literacy is a fusing factor between more democracy and more authorianism; more liberation and more surveillance; more citizen participation and more commercialization, monopolization, in which the new media might turn into a key concept that determine the destiny of citizens. Hence, the congress included scientific studies, presentations and workshops around the same theme. In the congress, 51 presentations and 6 workshops were held. 480 people participated in the congress and through the hashtag of #YeniMedya2015, 844 people watched it online. Through the congress that gathered together several academics, researchers, new media sector representatives and different actors from communication world who are interested in the new media studies, for two days the potentials and restrictions that the new media have on different aspects of the social life, in which several point of views and suggestions about the definitions and discussions and also practices of the new media literacy were carried out.
Session titles of the congress on February 26 was: Participatory Citizenship, Paradigms and Applications; Generations and Identities; Political Communication; New Literacies; The City and Life; Digital Surveillance. On February 27, the congress started with an open discussion about the point of views of different shareholders on new media literacy. And afterwards the sessions under the titles of “New Media Broadcasting”, “Digital Activism”, “User Derived Content” and “Mechanisms” were carried out with theoretical and conceptual debates and sharings of researches. 
After sessions were over, a final declaration was written, which briefly emphasized that it is a citizen’s right to access and exist on internet and new media environments. According to the final declaration:
“New media literacy is not only a technical and pedagogical matter. Rather it is a political stance on an active and praticipatory citizenship, democratic and pluralist social and political order with a communications ground that must be free of bias and hate. In this context, new media literacy is a multi-dimensional and multi-playered process, that stands in the intersections of different concerns, individuals, institutions and foundations.”
For this reason “for creating a database, we would like to encourage all kinds of qualitative and quantitative research that focus on media literacy. It is necessary to have a scientific policy in order to elevate funding and logistics for research. Knowledge production of academia is significant in this field.”
Additionally, on April 29, 2015 “New Media Literacy and Cyber Bullying Symposium” took place in Kocaeli University Faculty of Communication with the support of Alternatif Bilişim Derneği, which was organized as a part of the TUBITAK Project “Improving Awareness about Cyber Bullying for Primary Education Youth in Turkey: Fieldwork on Youngsters’ Cyber Bullying Understanding, its Currency and Awareness”. Several academics and researchers from different universities discussed matters of “Ethical Problems of New Media”, “Cyber Bullying of Primary Education Youth”, “Cyber Bullying and Preventive Studies”, “New Media Literacy and Education”.
Apart from all these congresses and workshops, on April 11, 2014 Alternatif Bilişim Derneği, Ankara University Faculty of Communication and UNICEF/Turkey organized “New Media Literacy Cirriculum Enhancement Workshop” in Ankara University Faculty of Communication. During this workshop main themes were determined for the enchancement of new media literacy curriculums towards children, teenager and adult groups,which also a social network was initiated between different academics from different disciplines and several experts. Workshop participators continued to study on their specific area in the scope of the purposes that were decided during the workshop in 2015.
Activities of Non-Governmental Institutions, Associations and Different Foundations
The activities about the development of new media literacy in 2015, that were carried out by different non-governmental institutions, associations, bars etc. are listed below:
“Kem Gözlere Şiş” Project that started in 2013 with the purpose of “helping to improve knowledge and ability of digital literacy in order to protect personal data and privacy” , continues to work with up new content uploaded https://kemgozleresis.org.tr/tr/ webpage.
In Hackerspace, GNU/Linux Training activity on October 17-18 and October 24-25 and also on October 27 Python Workshop were carried out.
“Software Freedom Day” was celebrated in EMO Headquarter on September 19, 2015 with the pioneering role of LKD Association in its press release emphasized why free software should be used and four factors for a software to be considered as free.
On April 11, 2015 Things Kamp 2015 was organized. In the scope of the Things Project that started in July 2014, with the aim of supporting “and constructing relations between different disciplines, activists, hackers, and NGOs interested in social technology tools enhancing social change”, in October 2014 and in January 2015 “the grant and support programme for the ones who would like to create a social difference via technology” was conducted. In addition, with the participation of speakers from Turkey and different parts of the world, a festival was organized.
Between June 12-14, 2015 at Bilgi Sosyal Kuluçka Center, Hackathon under the title of “Hack 4 Women” was carried out. With the participation of Merve Keleş from Milk Lab34, Gülüstan Doğan from YTU, Elif Özdemir, Abdülkadir Yaman, Şeyma Çakmak and designer Esra Yalman from ThoughtWorks, Agata Fortuna from the Things team and Toplum Gönüllüleri Vakfı (Social Volunteers Foundation), what might be done for more women to participate in software world was discussed. At the end, it is decided to get in contact with the NGOs that work with women. Some applications that would be useful for women were discussed.
During the International Labour and Communication Conference(LaborComm2015), on May 9-10 2015, different sessions on free software and digital labour and workshops on citizen journalism were carried out.
As a part of the Citizen Journalism Training “Verification in the Digital Age Workshop” was organized on August 27, 2015. Additionally, “Verification Handbook-A Guide For the Verification of Digital Data During in Times of Crisis” (Craig Silverman, ed.) was translated into Turkish and uploaded and opened for free access at http://verificationhandbook.com/book_tr/.
On September 12-13, 2015 “Structural Journalism and Network Mapping Hackathon” was carried out in İstanbul TMMOB Chamber of Architectures. On the website of the activity, its purpose is explained as such: “Structural Journalism and Network Mapping Hackathon aims at modelling data of some critical issues of civil society and composing relational maps of them with mass data collected from different sources with computer programmes”. Participants that use codes would improve their knowledge and skills on networks mapping and analysis, develop reusable tools with the support of mentors. The activity was carried out with 4 different steps of “network modelling”, “tool developing”, “mapping”, “presentations”. 
By Dokuz8 News on September 15-19, 2015 in İzmir Alternative Media and Citizen Journalism Training workshops were carried out. Mentors were Gökhan Biçici, Erkan Saka, Nurcan Akad, Pınar İlkiz, Alp Toker, Mehmet Atakan Foça, Medya ve İletişimciler Derneği (Media and Communicators Association), Fatih Pınar, and Kazım Kızıl, who shared their expertise and introduced tools that might be useful for alternative media and citizen journalism.
“Data Journalism Workshop” was organized by journalist Pınar Dağ, Eva Constantaras and Berkin Akkocoğlu and hosted by Hacettepe University Faculty of Communicational Sciences. Workshop was carried out with the participation of academics, undergraduate and graduate students from Hacettepe, Ankara, Gazi, Akdeniz, Ege Universities’ Faculty of Communication. Moreover there were participants from Dokuz8 News, Ankara Bar Association and Milliyet Newspaper.
Fourth Alternative Media Festival by Yeşil Düşünce Derneği (Green Thought Association) and Yeşil Gazete (Green Newspaper) organized since 2011, was carried out on October 2015 at Karaköy Chamber of Architectures’. Main theme of the festival was “Peace Journalism”, under the advisee of Prof. Yasemin İnceoğlu of Galatasaray University Faculty of Communication. During the festival, different topics such as censorship, oppression, threats and influence of media/social media to war were discussed.
Ankara Goethe-Institute in solidarity with Türk Kütüphaneciler Derneği (Turkish Librarians Association) carried out a workshop entitled “Digital Story Telling for Libraries” on November 30, 2015: “The purpose of this workshop is to bring together librarians and adjacent disciplines from Turkey and Germany. It is targeted to develop new ideas about ‘digital story telling’; creation of new communication techniques for users and shareholders by taking into consideration of all kinds of media; raising of consciousness about library technologies’ alternative usages; and introduction of practical solutions/applications that were tried in both countries. Another purpose of this workshop, on the one side, is the enhancement of the ideas about transforming traditional story-telling forms onto virtual world and underlining ‘digital story telling’ opportunities to reduce institutional news’ sharing costs and be informed about the role of proper media and communicational technologies in the process of writing a story and also sharing it.
Hacettepe University Faculty of Communication organizes digital story telling workshops periodically. Organizers of the workshops explain their purpose as: “In the digital story telling workshop, with the instructions of facilitators, participants create 2,5-3 minutes autobiographical narratives by employing multi-media tools.” In addition, it is emphasized that the contribution of the workshop will be on new media literacy: “Digital story telling workshops while providing personal narratives going into circulation, also create an informal learning environment for the participants in order to improve their digital literacy and spreading of digital literacy.
With the cooperation of Toplum Gönüllüleri Vakfı (Social Volunteers Foundation) and the USA Embassy and with the content partnership of Turkcell Akademia “Connect & Share Digital Story Telling Competition” was staged on May, 2015, results of which were declared on July 2015. Through this competition, in summary, it is intented that youngsters by using new digital media platforms to create their original digital stories through online tools about three main categories namely climate change/environment, culture/life and disabled populations’ rights. The purpose of the competition is explained as increasing information share about global issues, empowerment of intercultural relationships and raising youngsters’ responsibility on global issues.
Ministry of Development, UNDP, Microsoft Turkey and Habitat Development and Governance Association continue to organize mutual social responsibility actions throughout Turkey in order to facilitate different sectors’ of society to access knowledge and to support Turkey’s e-transformation. With the “Design Your Future Programme”, they continue to work in solidarity on the three basic themes namely education, entrepreneurship and employment. “Social Media Literacy”, “Mentor Training” were organized in the Aegean Region on October, 12-15, 2015.
In 2015, with UNDP and TTNET partnership, “Life is Easy with Internet” Project was carried out in different cities of Turkey: “To increase internet literacy ratio in Turkey, to support for capacity improvement of usage of e-services in civil and private sectors, to create an awareness about conscious usage of new media tools and to give information to the society about safe Internet.”
In 2015, Bager Akbay, Osman Koç and their colleagues continued their “Maker Training Movement”, that started in 2014. In this context Hasan Aktaş and Bager Akbay published a new book on October 2015, “Programming with Scratch for Children”. The book is introduced as: “The very first book of Maker Training Bookstore is “Programming with Scratch for Children 9+. Book explains the basics of programming for the children who are over 9 years old. The book is prepared, like the other books of the series, in accordance with the aim of improving children’s ability of computational thinking.”
As a result and as it was summarized above, in Turkey during 2015, with the purpose of improving the new media literacy state institutions, universities, schools, non-governmental organizations, associations and several foundations organized many activities and produced content. It would not be unrealistic to hope, when 2015 activites are considered, in the following years, these pedagogical activities increase in quantity as well as quality.
Alternatif Bilişim Derneği
Address: Alternatif Bilişim Derneği Merkezi, Eğitim mah. Muratpaşa cad. Altay apt. No:11/A 34722 Kadıköy İstanbul -Turkey
 During the process of the preparation for the report, data has been retrieved from a short survey with the news networks that are active on citizens’ journalism, alternative/independent media and media activism, directing questions about organisational activities, services, cencorship and usage of new edia in 2015. In betwen November 27 and December 2015, Bianet, 140Journos, Dokuz8, Jiyan.org, Kamera Sokak, KOS Medya, Senika.org, Dağ Medya, ZETE, Yeşil Gazete were the initiatives that had answered the survey.
Retrieved from http://zete.com/makaleler/gezi-surecinde-ve-geziden-sonra-medya-alternatif-medya-yurttas-haberciligi-tartismasi-yeni-donem-ve-dokuz8haber-deneyimi/ Accessed on 12.11.2015.
http://bianet.org/bianet/medya/169528-dr-aslam-baris-gazeteciligi-gazetecilere-anlatilmali, http://bianet.org/bianet/medya/169452-dr-aslam-gazetecsiligin-5n1k-sina-cozum-un-c-si-eklenmeli, Accessed on: 12.11.2015.
 http://verificationhandbook.com/book_tr/ , Accessed on: 12.13.2015.
 http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gezi-den-milyonluk-fikir-cikti-28578596, Accessed on: 12.13.2015.
 http://platform24.org/medya-izleme/832/-kokunu-kaziyorlar, Accessed on: 12.11.2015.
 http://m.t24.com.tr/haber/medyada-40-gunun-bilancosu-iste-sansur-isten-cikarma-erisim-engeli-baskin-ve-tutuklama-listesi,308237 Accessed on: 12.12.2015.
 http://privacy.cyber-rights.org.tr/ Accessed on: 12.11.2015.
 http://www.agos.com.tr/tr/yazi/12935/basinin-eylul-ayi-bilancosu-gozalti-dayak-sansur, Accessed on: 12.11.2015.
http://www.yerelgundem.com/haberler/685618/muhalif_medyaya_sansur_iste_boyle_uygulaniyor.html Accessed on: 3.3.2016
 http://www.evrensel.net/haber/260963/sendika-org-muhabiri-kacirilip-silahla-tehdit-edildi Accessed on: 12.11.2015.
 https://twitter.com/seyrisokak/status/640654311899459584 Accessed on: 12.11.2015.
 http://www.agos.com.tr/tr/yazi/12935/basinin-eylul-ayi-bilancosu-gozalti-dayak-sansur, Accessed on: 12.11.2015.
 https://twitter.com/seyrisokak/status/664810580721672192 , Accessed on : 12.11.2015.
 https://twitter.com/OzgurrGundem Accessed on: 12.16.2015 .
 Efe Kerem Sözeri’s statements on overcoming of Internet cencorship may be a loadstar: https://jiyan.us/2015/12/26/tekil11-devlet-sansurune-alternatif-cozumler/ Accessed on: 01.11.2016
 Related to this issue please see: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/multimedia/timeline-edward-snowden-revelations.html Accessed on: 01.11.2016.
 https://www.torproject.org/ Accessed on: 01.03.2016.
 İnceoğlu, A. A. (2012). “Nefret suçu kavramı ve türk ceza mevzuatı açısından değerlendirilmesi”. In Yasemin İnceoğlu (Ed.), Nefret söylemi ve/veya nefret suçları (pp. 103-120) İstanbul: Ayrıntı Yayınları.
 Doğu, B. (2010). “Sanal nefret pratikleri: İnternet’te nefret söylemi ve karşı örgütlenmeler”. In Tuğrul Çomu (Ed.), Yeni medyada nefret söylemi (pp. 223-252). İstanbul: Kalkedon Yayınları.
 Boyle, K. (2001). “Hate Speech – The United States Versus the Rest of the World?”, Maine Law, vol. 53, s.493.
 https://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Suru%C3%A7_sald%C4%B1r%C4%B1s%C4%B1, Accessed on: 01.11.2016.
 Especially for the reproduction of patriarchal gender regime under the hashtag of #sendeanlat Yeliz Dede Özdemir’s article would be useful see “Taciz Anlatılarında Cinsiyetçi Söylemlerin Yeniden İnşası MomentDergi, 2015, 2(2), http://www.momentjournal.org/index.php/momentdergi/article/view/135
 Binark, M. vd. (2015). “Türkiye’de Twitter’da trol kültürü”, Toplum Bilim, Sayı 135, Aralık pp. 124-158.
 Arıcak, T. (2015). Siber Alemin Avatar Çocukları. İstanbul: Remzi.
 A.g.e. s.83.
 Bu konu hakkında detaylı bilgi için: Ekmel Ertan, Mart 2015 “Dijital Sonrası Tarihçeler: Türkiye’de Yeni Medya Sanatı” http://forumist.com/?p=668;
Şafak Erkayhan, Merve Çaşkurlu Belgesay Aralık 2014 “Teknoloji ve Sanatın Etkileşimi: Yeni Medya Sanatı Türkiye’de Güncel Durum ve Öneriler” http://dergipark.ulakbim.gov.tr/sanatvetasarim/article/view/5000136825/5000125740;
Başak Şenova “Dijital Düşünceli Sorgulama: Türkiye’de Dijital Kültür” http://www.goethe.de/ins/tr/lp/prj/art/med/bgt/trk/trindex.htm.
 http://istanbulmuseum.org ve http://www.webbiennial.org
 Sanat ticareti yapan siteler:
 For the whole report “Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2015” see: https://www.hiscox.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Hiscox-Online-Art-Trade-Report-2015.pdf
 Özarslan, Z. ve Şener, G. (2015). “Yeni Medya Çalışmaları II. Ulusal Kongre Değerlendirmesi” İLEF Dergisi, Bahar, 2015 2 (1), s.151-163. http://ilef.ankara.edu.tr/wp-content/uploads/id_1_3_8.pdf
 For the detailed information about the sessions in the congress see:
Özarslan, Z. ve Şener, G. (2015) “Yeni Medya Çalışmaları II. Ulusla Kongre Değerlendirmesi” https://yenimedya.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/yeni-medya-calismalari-ii-ulusal-kongresi-degerlendirmesi/
Özarslan, Z. ve Şener, G. (2015). “Yeni Medya Çalışmaları II. Ulusal Kongre Değerlendirmesi”, İLEF Dergisi, Bahar, 2015 2 (1), ss.151-163. http://ilef.ankara.edu.tr/wp-content/uploads/id_1_3_8.pdf
 Özarslan, Z. ve Şener, G. (2015). “Yeni Medya Çalışmaları II. Ulusal Kongre Değerlendirmesi”, İLEF Dergisi, Bahar, 2015 2 (1), ss.151-163. http://ilef.ankara.edu.tr/wp-content/uploads/id_1_3_8.pdf
Also see: Binark, M. (2015). “Mutlu Binark ile Yeni Medya ve Değişen Okuryazarlık Üzerine” http://viraverita.org/roportajlar/mutlu-binark-ile-yeni-medya-ve-degisen-okuryazarlik-uzerine
 http://if.kocaeli.edu.tr/?p=events&id=365 For the videos of the presentations, see: http://www.siberzorbalik.net/?p=videolar.
See for details; http://www.digitalstoryhub.org/.