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← [UPDATED] Richard Dawkins on Harun Yahya's Atlas of Creation

FrederickK's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by FrederickK

Checkout his press statement:
A PRESS STATEMENT ON THE COURT INJUNCTION REGARDING THE WEB SITES "WWW.RICHARDDAWKINS.NET" AND "WWW.EGITIMSEN.ORG.TR"

The public will be aware that access to the web sites www.richarddawkins.net and www.egitimsen.org.tr has been blocked by court rulings.
Following the blocking of access in the light of these rulings, several misleading reports and articles on the subject have appeared in various press organs.
It has been claimed in these reports that the reason for the legal measures taken against the web sites in question stems supposedly from criticism of my client's book the Atlas of Creation, and they have gone even further in making false imputations regarding my client, such as "hostility towards science," "opposing freedom of ideas," and "engaging in censorship."
These totally unrealistic allegations and imputations, intended to defame my client, have made it essential to issue this press statement in order that the public be correctly informed on the matter.

FIRST, the claim in the publications in question that prevention of access was requested because my client's book the Atlas of Creation had been criticized on those sites is completely untrue and fabricated. The sole reason for the applications made on behalf of my client, Mr. Adnan Oktar, is that severe insults and untruthful imputations directly aimed against my client's good name appeared on these sites. Indeed, the courts considering the matter accepted our application for that legitimate reason, considered the content of the publications in question to be unlawful and blocked access to the relevant sites.
It will be appreciated that if a publication had criticized my client's book without attacking his personal rights, the courts would obviously have borne in mind the rights to freedom of thought and expression and turned down our applications. The publications in question are evidently of a derogatory and false nature towards the courts deciding on the issue, and represent unlawful, improper behavior incompatible with press ethical principles.

SECOND, our legal petitions concerning the unlawful texts on these sites and the rulings issued regarding these are all contained in the court files. Examination of these documents shows that the injunction to block access to the sites stems from the illegal imputations and defamations directed against my client's personal rights. That being the case, publications imputing my client â€" and indeed the court â€" in a totally unrealistic manner and ignoring these documents, make it clear that those preparing such publications without investigating the truth of the matter actually have ulterior motives. Not only is this behavior a contravention of the law, it is also incompatible with professional press principles.

THIRD, I wish to make it clear that my client Mr. Oktar's views and works are totally grounded in the scientific facts. It is for that reason that world-famous journals such as Science, New Scientist and Scientific American have referred to Mr. Oktar as "an international hero [whose] books have spread everywhere in the Islamic world," and regard the works my client has personally written as the most powerful intellectual movement in the world to reveal the invalidity of evolution. Reuters, one of the world's largest press agencies, has stated that the works of Adnan Oktar "has an influence U.S. creationists could only dream of."
The comments from Turkish and international scientific authorities, one small part of which have been quoted here, about my client's works are the clearest response to the baseless allegations and imputations that my client is "hostile to science."

FOURTH, the allegation in some of the publications that "My client prevented access to Richard Dawkins' web site because he was reluctant to engage in a scientific debate with him" is completely untrue. On the contrary, my client has many times invited Richard Dawkins, both verbally and in written form, to a scientific debate, but he has not accepted, or has been unable to accept, those invitations. No response has been forthcoming to the announcements of "a call to a scientific debate" that my client has issued to Richard Dawkins over the last few months in particular on his web sites www.harunyahya.com and www.harunyahya.org
In the same way that Richard Dawkins did not (or could not) accept my client's calls for a scientific debate, his own web site contained statements contravening the law and violating my client's personal rights and going far beyond the bounds of respect, and which also concerned the site closure application. When these statements were published, we resorted to the use of our legal rights.
By means of this press release, my client once again repeats his "call for a scientific debate," already issued countless times, and particularly calls on the members of the press reporting on the issue to make contact with Richard Dawkins and convince him to accept my client's invitation to a debate.

FIFTH, some of the relevant publications and particularly the web site www.egitimsen.org.tr carried the claim that our legal petitions were issued "without giving the site management any warning." This claim is totally false and untrue. The site managements were warned both verbally and in writing on the subject of removing the text about which we had applied to the court. Indeed, on 17 September 2008, one day before our application to the court, the site management were telephoned and verbally informed of the matter once again. The site representative on the telephone requested the matter be notified in writing, and the request that the unlawful texts in the publication be removed was e-mailed to the site management and they were informed that otherwise we would be forced to resort to legal measures. Sadly, however, despite our warnings, no reply was received and we eventually had to apply for an injunction. It is not a well-intentioned approach to issue untruthful statements that they were not warned and thus criticize the ruling issued by the court. The site management statements on its first page regarding the ruling that the www.egitimsen.org.tr web site be closed contain untrue claims and unlawful declarations (and the publication still continues). We announce by means of this press statement that unless the unlawful terms in the text of that statement are removed we shall have to resort to the appropriate legal measures.

SIXTH, the decision to block access to the www.egitimsen.org.tr web site was lifted, after the removal by the site management of the items violating my client's personal rights, with the ruling issued by the Kadıköy 2nd Court of First Instance. In other words, the grounds for the lifting of the injunction is the removal of the page carrying the unlawful text about my client, Adnan Oktar, by the site management. We many times requested that the page containing the expressions violating my client's personality rights be removed before we made our application, but the site management never responded to these requests. When the closure ruling was issued, the site management removed the unlawful text in order to have their site opened again, the ruling issued in the framework of the injunction was lifted, and access to the site granted.

In summary; the court ruled that access to the site be re-opened because the site management accepted that their publication about my client was unlawful and removed it. However, following the removal by the site officials of the unlawful publication and as soon as the site was opened up, in an effort to supposedly justify themselves, they continued to bring out texts about my client that went beyond the bounds of freedom of expression, and this is a contravention of good intentions and the law.

SEVENTH, my client Adnan Oktar sets out his ideas on a scientific platform in the most powerful and effective manner in his books and web sites. However, he also treats those who think differently with the greatest respect in those publications. Not a single disrespectful word about anyone holding different opinions can be found in any of my client's more than 300 books nor in any of the dozens of web sites based on his opinions.
That is because my client respects freedom of thought and expression and is most tolerant of the expression of views opposed to his. However, it will be appreciated that freedom of the press, or ideas or expression is not the same thing as freedom of defamation. Everyone is free to express and defend his or her opinions on any subject, but they have a responsibility to do so within the bounds of the law, without breaching public order and while respecting the personal rights of others. There can be no question that those who transgress those bounds will not be protected by the judicial authorities. In the event those bounds are transgressed, everyone must respect the rulings issued on the subject by the independent Turkish courts.

Submitted for the public record.
Adnan Oktar's Representative
Ceyhun Gökdoğan (Lawyer)

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For any of your questions, please kindly contact:
Ms. Seda Aral (Istanbul, TURKEY)
seda_aral@gmx.net

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 23:37:00 UTC | #251069