09 April 2007

The dangers of You Tube

For me, You Tube is a goldmine of music videos that I can blog when I am too tired to post , if I have nothing to say, or if I just want to put up a video of a favourite musician. Copyright issues aside, You Tube should be a harmless entertainment medium. It should not be banned (as it was recently in Thailand) and unless someone posts a criminal act it should;d not land anyone in prison. Criticising an exam system does not in my view constitute a criminal act, but then I am not the Turkish state!

Last year , a Turkish teenager made a video of himself lip-synching a song that blasted Turkey's university entrance system and put it on YouTube. Unfortunately the video did not go down well with the Turkish authorities. Deli, the band that released the song, faces charges of insulting state employees and will go on trial May 2 in Ankara. If convicted, the five musicians, along with their manager and a former band member, face up to 18 months in jail, although they could get off with a fine or a warning.

I'm not sure if this is the original video

The clip shows a teenager bopping around and making gestures against a blank backdrop while lip-synching the song. The minor, identified in media reports only by his first name, Hakan (or hako?) , will take the exam this year. Hiss video logged hundreds of thousands of hits and elevated the song to prominence among young Turks who dread the university exam, and many older Turks who viewed the experience as a trauma.

The song is called "ÖSYM," the Turkish acronym for The Student Selection and Placement Center, the state institution that decides which students go to university, based on a three-hour exam every June . The lyrics of are mild by western standards (Apparently the worst thing said is “shove that exam up your arse”) and despite claiming to enjoy the video Prof. Ünal Yarımağan, chairman of the university placement system, asked lawyers to investigate anyway.

Deli will release its first album in April, and didn't include the song "ÖSYM" to avoid controversy. Bass guitarist Enis Çoban, who studied textile manufacturing, said there was more censorship in Turkey than in Europe or the United States, but less than in China or Iran. "Compared to dictatorships, Turkey is like heaven," Çoban said. "Turkey still has a lot missing, but we believe that it is on the right track to improve itself."

News source: Today's Zamam


elasticwaistbandlady said...

After watching countless videos for the pop singer, Tarkan, I assumed that Turkey was easing up on totalitarian responses. Tarkan cavorts around with scantily clad women in smoky clubs during his vids just like any run of the mill infidel westerner.

Anonymous said...

Hell no. Turkey has always been pretty totalitarian on issues concerning secularism. The universities are under control of the YOK, which is an undemocratic independent state institution which was set up by the military after the 1980 coup d'etat to ensure the students stayed secular. Anything insulting them and you'll go to jail. Cause that would mean you have issues with secularism. I guess these guys said something unsecular, which is a big no no.
Secularism does not care about scantily clad women. The secularists do have issues with covered women.

Emily said...

After watching this video I feel like The government was right to press charges.