Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Insulting Turkishness

The offense

The punishment

What is clear is that it is a serious crime in Turkey to "insult Turkishness." They have punished writers, political activists and artists for this crime. What is unclear is exactly what constitutes an insult to Turkishness. We got a hint during our tour of the palace.

Tourists like to pose with the stiff guards outside the palace just as they do at Buckingham and other famous royal homes. But one member of our group wanted something a little more creative than the typical standing stiffly next to the stiff guard shot and so quickly bent down between the guard's legs with a big grin.

Another guard immediately came up to him and demanded that the offending shots be removed from his camera.

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