Hacktivists Slaughter Agriculture Ministry Site

ANOTHER HIT & RUN HACK took place earlier today, from Turkey’s own “Anonymous” hacktivists, RedHack. Gaining in notoriety for their many attacks on state websites & even reportedly causing a nationwide shutdown of the ‘net, this time the group fired its politically loaded message at the Ministry of Agriculture — more specifically its Strategic Development Directorate.

The remains of the ministry’s website opened with the above pic & message “hackers on behalf of the villager”, with the group criticising a government quota system that favours imports of American & European produce over support for the Turkish farmer.

The culturally & politically packed statement, laced with their hallmark wit, took a range of pot shots: from poking fun at the Agriculture Minister, Mehmet Mehdi Eker; to the Turkish prime minister’s 2007 blunt response to a desperate farmer railing against government policies; to the recent “poisoned milk” scandal, whereby some 4,000 school pupils were, it was reported, hospitalised:

Let’s get to the point: It’s not enough for you to get the famers into trouble and say “take your mother and leave”, now it’s the children’s turn. You are distibuting free milk at schools. That’s good but give children real milk, not milk powder. You are playing the demagogue to people who criticise you, by saying we are against milk. Actually, we are not against milk, but against poisoned milk. Last month, we hackedall of the distribution companies, and we see that you gave all the milk tenders to “cemaat” members [read: a closed Islamic community; here alluding to the followers of Fethullah Gülen] … What is the relationship bewteen you & those companies? If you were brave enough, you would explain it.

Look my Mehdi: If you and your predcessors hadn’t ruined agriculture and husbandry by supporting the quotas and policies of imperialist economies, today every child would be able to drink [safe] milk. Leave the country to the workers. Don’t worry about it. As you see in the picture, our children can make their own cake :) Take it easy Captain Mehdi.

The hacked page closed with a dedication to Ibrahim Kaypakkaya, “who devoted himself to the workers’ struggle and was tortured to death on 18 May, 1973.”

HDN: RedHack Hacks Turkish Family Ministry Website On Mother’s Day

REDHACK LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED. Their latest missive at the AKP government involved taking down the Ministry of Family and Social Policy website on Mother’s Day (Sunday, 13 May, here in Turkey), with the focus firmly on women’s rights, both in Turkey and abroad:

The hacked page showed a collage that was made up of the picture of a woman murdered by her husband, a mother crying over her fallen son’s grave at a military cemetery, an Israeli soldier facing a woman and her two daughters, and a picture of the “Saturday Mothers,” an organization that seeks to shed light on unsolved murders and disappearances of civilians in Turkey in the 1990s.

A message was written below a picture with the headline “Happy Mother’s Day,” which gave detailed information on violence and sexual abuse against women in Turkey. RedHack said the Turkish family minister, Fatma Şahin, was more concerned with regulating soap operas and TV shows, instead of finding solutions to women’s issues.

The group also called for an end to what it called the “dirty war that makes mothers cry” and an end to “the disrespectful attitude of ‘Take your mother and leave,’” a statement made by Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan after a villager had asked him to help farmers and said, “Our mothers are crying,” a Turkish expression meaning that one is in great pain or suffering.

RedHack also rounded off with a taunting footnote for special prosecutor Hakan Yüksel, charged with (somehow) hauling the now notorious hackers in front of a judge:

“Prosecutor Hakan, what’s up? We’re going to end up being buddies if we keep this up ;) We’re hacking from prison, what do you say to that? ;)”

In other words, those he’s locked up are not RedHack.

Source: HDN: RedHack hacks Turkish family ministry website on Mother’s Day

Global Voices Online: Outrage At Sentencing Of Scarf Case Student

CAUSING A FIRESTORM OF PROTEST on Twitter, reactions to the infamous “scarf case” — 11 years jail time for 22 year old whose only “crime” appears to be wearing the wrong clothing while waiting at a bus stop — are given a detailed rundown on Global Voices Online. Author Stratos Moraitis’s excellent & succinct analysis highlights both sides of the Twitter debate, in both Turkish and English.

Source: Global Voices Online: Outrage at Sentencing of Scarf Case Student

Turkish Student Sentenced To 11 Years In Poshu Scarf Case

BECAUSE HE HAPPENED to be wearing the same piece of clothing as “unidentified attackers” of a grocery store, student Cihan Kırmızıgül gets 11 years in prison. And Turkey is the “model democracy” for the Middle East? On that score, there’s no hope then. R.I.P. democracy.

Kırmızıgül was taken into custody for wearing a poshu scarf on Feb. 20, 2010, when a group of unidentified individuals also wearing poshu scarves attacked an empty grocery store with Molotov cocktails in the same area.

Source: HDN: Turkish student sentenced to 11 years in poshu scarf case

The Common Pain Of The Armenians And The Turks

ONE AMAZING DOCUMENTARY from Al Jazeera World, which takes a fresh, balanced approach to the brutal tragedy of the Armenians in 1915. Director Ramazan Mut has eschewed the issue in black and white rhetoric in favour of historical context, dating back centuries before what many call genocide wiped out a distinct Ottoman community.

The focus also rests on the present day, highlighting the three main actors in this bitter dispute raging for a near century: the republics of Turkey and Armenia, and the influential Armenian Diaspora.

Aptly titled “Common Pain”, if there’s one scene that nails the essence of the tragedy, it’s the prescient TV interview with Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, predating his assassination by Turkish ultranationalists:

We are two sick communities, the Turks and the Armenians. Their relationship is interwoven. The Armenians are experiencing a great trauma because of the Turks, and the Turks experiencing paranoia because of the Armenians. We are both clinical cases.

Who is going to cure us? Is it a decision of the French or American Senate? Who will provide the prescription? Who is our doctor?

The Armenians are the doctor of the Turks, and the Turks are the doctor of the Armenians. Besides that, there is no doctor or cure. Dialogue is the only prescription. They are each other’s doctor.

Anonymous Declare Solidarity With RedHack

REDHACK HAS THE GOVERNMENT on the run. Their only defence against RedHack’s attacks on state websites appears to be either to shut the Internet in Turkey down, or to label them as “terrorists”:

The government declared RedHack a “terrorist organization”, keyboards and screens as “weapons”, PlayStation CD’s as “evidence,” and turned over the RedHack case to special prosecutors.

— Source: Anonymous

Never mind the fact that all you need to hack a Turkish police website is the password “123456”, the last I heard was that the criteria for committing acts of “terror” was to kill innocent civilians.

Not that we should expect much else from a nation that locks up stone-throwing kids for “terrorism”, but if keyboards & screens are weapons too, then there’s a global supply of terrorists waiting in the wings… in a war the state can only lose.