(nil): John Kerkines (jkerk(@)arnold.chem.uoa.gr)
Ημερομηνία: Δευ 03 Απρ 2000 - 18:07:02 EEST
To parakatw einai ena forward sta agglika. Osoi den epi0ymeite na to
diabasete, pathste to delete.
Einai ena keimeno poy milaei gia to gnwsto mas Mahir. Yposthrizei pantws
oti h selida toy Mahir einai proion hacking (psema arage?).
Pantws h lista prepei na niwthei yperhfanh poy htan apo tis prwtes poy
anakalypse to Mahir (Natassa Ailamakh nomizw?)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000 10:52:46 +0300
From: IGC News Desk <newsdesk(@)igc.apc.org>
To: Multiple recipients of list GREEKWEB <greekweb(@)demokritos.cc.duth.gr>
Subject: INTERNET-TURKEY: The World Of Virtual Reality
Copyright 2000 InterPress Service, all rights reserved.
Worldwide distribution via the APC networks.
*** 29-Mar-0* ***
Title: COMMUNICATIONS-TURKEY: The World Of Virtual Reality
By Nadire Mater
ISTANBUL, Mar 29 (IPS) - Despite a daily expansion of its realm,
internet usage in Turkey is still a drop in the ocean when
compared to other countries.
Turkey joined the world wide web seven years ago. Today there
are 90 000 computers, 15 000 domain names and an estimated 1.2
million users and 10 000 webs.
This is comparatively modest when compared to across the globe
where the Internet community comprises some 70 million computers,
at least 200 million users, 12 million domain names and some eight
But limitations have not stopped Turkey from producing its own
internet superstar. International media recently featured Mahir
Cagri, a 37 year-old journalist and music teacher, who rocketed to
fame last month with his home page.
The page in which Cagri "invitates" women to visit him was
picked up by a hacker and e-mailed around the world.
Since then, the Mahir Homepage has garnered more than 2.5
million hits and inspired dozens of international spoofs and fan
Cagri has been profiled in, among others, Time, USA Today,
Entertainment Weekly, People, Salon.com, Forbes.com and newspapers
around the globe. The Guardian in England dubbed him ``the
Internet's answer to Forrest Gump''.
And he owes it all to a fortuitous hoax.
Cagri's celebrated home page began as a simple site extolling
his hometown and his passion for pingpong and photography. Bearing
the now-famous salutation ``Welcome to my homepage!!!!!!! I kiss
you!!!!! ,'' it was illustrated with deliciously kitschy
photographs of Cagri playing the accordion and lounging on the
beach wearing a skimpy red bathing suit.
Then a hacker who saw its star potential did some creative
editing, adding text such as ``I like sex. . . I like to take foto-
camera (animals, towns, nice nude models and peoples). . . Who is
want to come Turkey I can invitate-- She can stay my home"
However, developing the industry does come loaded with
problems. One of them is the fact that the Turkish government is
using existing laws to restrict the freedom of expression.
In a circular to governors in March, the Interior Ministry
banned the entry of people younger than 15 years to Internet
It further prohibited access from the cafes to various websites
classified as being harmful to Turkey's "territorial integrity".
These include sites belonging to political opposition parties,
pornography and gambling websites.
In 1999 a high school student, AK, was sentenced to 10 months
imprisonment for the alleged violation of Article 159 of the penal
code, for the language he used to criticise the police on a chat-
He was detected by the police who randomly "patrol" scores of
chat-boards and provocatively join in the chatboards in order to
trace the whereabouts of those participating.
The sentence was suspended on appeal.
Coskun Ak, a former web master working for an Istanbul based
Internet service provider, was recently prosecuted and fined for a
comment on separatism made by a user on his forum. He was also
fired by the company who feared prosecution.
Interest in the internet appears to be on the increase. In
every corner of the country, including war torn Southeast cities
and districts, Internet cafes have mushroomed.
A large percentage of television advertisements are devoted to
Internet service provider firms and on-line banking services;
flight and bus travel reservations are increasingly done through
the net; e-shopping is reported to generate increasing revenues
and, of course, more and more people are making friends on the
"Even in downtown southeast Diyarbakir, with its population of
900 000, there are over 30 internet cafes and all of them have
opened up in the last six months," said Naci Sapan, a local.
The number of internet cafes in Istanbul alone are estimated at
over 500 and there are reported to be over 2,000 cafes throughout
"I used to ridicule those who had love affairs on chat boards,"
says Kutay Duru, a manager from Izmir. "Yet, it happened to me
too. I have found my truest love on the net from the Netherlands,"
he told IPS. The two are planning to meet in another part of the
globe this summer.
However, Professor Mustafa Akgul of Bilkent University, a
prominent internet specialist and member of Turkey's Internet
Higher Council says people need to be educated more on how to use
the Internet positively, especially as a education tool.
"For people the internet is just an entertainment and
conversation media. We need to start extending usage to other
areas like education and make it part of the social production
process," he told IPS.
He said internet usage in public services, schools and small
and medium scale business was still very poor.
"Schools are only beginning to get access to internet. Of the
total 70.000 schools only 200 are on the Internet, we need radical
steps in this field," he says.
Turkey's banking system is also shifting on the internet as
such big national banks as Is Bank, Garanti Bank and Pamuk Bank
are vanguarding the transformation by offering incredibly lower
costs for Internet banking.
Reportedly the cost of transactions on the net remains at
around one percent of the cost in the actual bank branches. The
new technology also provides customers with 24 hours unlimited
service and uninterrupted management of their accounts.
Universities have reportedly taken the lead in internet usage
with an estimated 200.000 users.
Meanwhile the users are served by some 50 private service
provider firms, which include major national banks, with such
affordable prices of monthly one US dollar for unlimited access.
The internet boom is also reported to have had a positive
effect on the information sector.
According to 1999 figures by Interpro Marketing Research
Center, the information sector grew by 42.5 percent while the
information technologies field have raised a two billion US dollar
profit and communication technologies 9.7 billion US dollars.
[c] 2000, InterPress Third World News Agency (IPS)
All rights reserved
May not be reproduced, reprinted or posted to any system or
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print media and broadcast. For information about cross-
posting, send a message to <wdesk(@)ips.org>. For
information about print or broadcast reproduction please
contact the IPS coordinator at <online(@)ips.org>.
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