It seems that every so often some video pops up that makes a far-off country swear off YouTube over “political reasons.” Pakistan banned YouTube over an anti-Muslim film the site was only recently forced to edit (after a copyright lawsuit). Tajikistan’s president banned YouTube after a humiliating video of him dancing was leaked to the web.
And now the latest country to do so? Turkey. Turkey hasn’t seemed to have the most success with pulling off its efforts to ban social media lately — they tried to stop Turkish citizens from posting on Twitter, but protesters took to the streets to publish graffitied instructions on ways to access Twitter around the bans. And now YouTube has been cut off. The action was taken by Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who stated, “We will not leave this nation at the mercy of YouTube and Facebook,” in an interview with Turkish broadcaster ATV. “All kinds of immorality,” he seethed, “all kinds of espionage” [could be found there]. And so the site has been pulled. In its place, an error message. A viral picture of the prime minister has circulated with the phrase “Yes, we ban,” a la the Shepard Fairey image of Obama. It isn’t quite clear if this is irony, sarcasm or just simple happenstance though.
The cause of the ban appears to be an video transcription of an audio recording made between the Turkish minister of foreign affairs and several other military and political higher-ups about staging a bombing attack on Turkey and blaming Syria for starting a war — pretty incendiary stuff. The video itself is dry as dirt, and unless you speak Turkish, won’t make a lick of sense. Fortunately though, we’ve provided a full translation of the conversation below the video, courtesy of the International Business Times. There’s been no word of how the video was recorded or released, but then, that’s part of the fun of these things.
Here is the translation of the video in full:
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu:
“Prime Minister said that in current conjuncture, this attack (on Suleiman Shah Tomb) must be seen as an opportunity for us.”
National Intelligence Chief Hakan Fidan:
“I’ll send 4 men from Syria, if that’s what it takes. I’ll make up a cause of war by ordering a missile attack on Turkey; we can also prepare an attack on Suleiman Shah Tomb if necessary.”
Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu:
“Our national security has become a common, cheap domestic policy outfit.”
Deputy Chief of Staff of the military Yasar Guler:
“It’s a direct cause of war. I mean, what we’re going to do is a direct cause of war.”
Ahmet Davuto?lu: I couldn’t entirely understand the other thing; what exactly does our foreign ministry supposed to do? No, I’m not talking about the thing. There are other things we’re supposed to do. If we decide on this, we are to notify the United Nations, the Istanbul Consulate of the Syrian regime, right?
Feridun Sinirlio?lu: But if we decide on an operation in there, it should create a shocking effect. I mean, if we are going to do so. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but regardless of what we decide, I don’t think it’d be appropriate to notify anyone beforehand.
Ahmet Davuto?lu: OK, but we’re gonna have to prepare somehow. To avoid any shorts on regarding international law. I just realised when I was talking to the president (Abdullah Gül), if the Turkish tanks go in there, it means we’re in there in any case, right?
Ya?ar Güler: It means we’re in, yes.
Ahmet Davuto?lu: Yeah, but there’s a difference between going in with aircraft and going in with tanks…
Ya?ar Güler: Maybe we can tell the Syrian consulate general that, ISIL is currently working alongside the regime, and that place is Turkish land. We should definitely…
Ahmet Davuto?lu: But we have already said that, sent them several diplomatic notes.
Ya?ar Güler: To Syria…
Feridun Sinirlio?lu: That’s right.
Ahmet Davuto?lu: Yes, we’ve sent them countless times. Therefore, I’d like to know what our Chief of Staff’s expects from our ministry.
Ya?ar Güler: Maybe his intent was to say that, I don’t really know, he met with Mr. Fidan.
Hakan Fidan: Well, he did mention that part but we didn’t go into any further details.
Ya?ar Güler: Maybe that was what he meant… A diplomatic note to Syria?
Hakan Fidan: Maybe the Foreign Ministry is assigned with coordination…
Ahmet Davuto?lu: I mean, I could coordinate the diplomacy but civil war, the military…
Feridun Sinirlio?lu: That’s what I told back there. For one thing, the situation is different. An operation on ISIL has solid ground on international law. We’re going to portray this is Al-Qaeda, there’s no distress there if it’s a matter regarding Al-Qaeda. And if it comes to defending Suleiman Shah Tomb, that’s a matter of protecting our land.
Ya?ar Güler: We don’t have any problems with that.
Hakan Fidan: Second after it happens, it’ll cause a great internal commotion (several bombing events is bound to happen within). The border is not under control…
Feridun Sinirlio?lu: I mean, yes, the bombings are of course going to happen. But I remember our talk from 3 years ago…
Ya?ar Güler: Mr. Fidan should urgently receive back-up and we need to help him supply guns and ammo to rebels. We need to speak with the minister. Our Interior Minister, our Defense Minister. We need to talk about this and reach a resolution sir.
Ahmet Davuto?lu: How did we get special forces into action when there was a threat in Northern Iraq? We should have done so in there, too. We should have trained those men. We should have sent men. Anyway, we can’t do that, we can only do what diplomacy…
Feridun Sinirlio?lu: I told you back then, for God’s sake, General, you know how we managed to get those tanks in, you were there.
Ya?ar Güler: What, you mean our stuff?
Feridun Sinirlio?lu: Yes, how do you think we’ve managed to rally our tanks into Iraq? How? How did we manage to get special forces, the battalions in? I was involved in that. Let me be clear, there was no government decision on that, we have managed that just with a single order.
Ya?ar Güler: Well, I agree with you. For one thing, we’re not even discussing that. But there are different things that Syria can do right now.
Ahmet Davuto?lu: General, the reason we’re saying no to this operation is because we know about the capacity of those men.
Ya?ar Güler: Look, sir, isn’t MKE (Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation) at minister’s bidding? Sir, I mean, Qatar is looking for ammo to buy in cash. Ready cash. So, why don’t they just get it done? It’s at Mr. Minister’s command.
Ahmet Davuto?lu: But there’s the spot we can’t act integratedly, we can’t coordinate.
Ya?ar Güler: Then, our Prime Minister can summon both Mr. Defence Minister and Mr. Minister at the same time. Then he can directly talk to them.
Ahmet Davuto?lu: We, Mr. Siniro?lu and I, have literally begged Mr. Prime Minster for a private meeting, we said that things were not looking so bright.
Ya?ar Güler: Also, it doesn’t have to be a crowded meeting. Yourself, Mr. Defence Minister, Mr. Interior Minister and our Chief of Staff, the four of you are enough. There’s no need for a crowd. Because, sir, the main need there is guns and ammo. Not even guns, mainly ammo. We’ve just talked about this, sir. Let’s say we’re building an army down there, 1000 strong. If we get them into that war without previously storing a minimum of 6-months’ worth of ammo, these men will return to us after two months.
Ahmet Davuto?lu: They’re back already.
Ya?ar Güler: They’ll return to us, sir.
Ahmet Davuto?lu: They’ve came back from… What was it? Çobanbey.
Ya?ar Güler: Yes, indeed, sir. This matter can’t be just a burden on Mr. Fidan’s shoulders as it is now. It’s unacceptable. I mean, we can’t understand this. Why?
Ahmet Davuto?lu: That evening we’d reached a resolution. And I thought that things were taking a turn for the good. Our…
Feridun Sinirlio?lu: We issued the MGK (National Security Council) resolution the day after. Then we talked with the general…
Ahmet Davuto?lu: And the other forces really do a good follow up on this weakness of ours. You say that you’re going to capture this place, and that men being there constitutes a risk factor. You pull them back. You capture the place. You reinforce it and send in your troops again.
Ya?ar Güler: Exactly, sir. You’re absolutely right.
Ahmet Davuto?lu: Right? That’s how I interpret it. But after the evacuation, this is not a military necessity. It’s a whole other thing.
Feridun Siniro?lu: There are some serious shifts in global and regional geopolitics. It now can spread to other places. You said it yourself today, and others agreed… We’re headed to a different game now. We should be able to see those. That ISIL and all that jazz, all those organisations are extremely open to manipulation. Having a region made up of organisations of similar nature will constitute a vital security risk for us. And when we first went into Northern Iraq, there was always the risk of PKK blowing up the place. If we thoroughly consider the risks and substantiate… As the general just said…
Ya?ar Güler: Sir, when you were inside a moment ago, we were discussing just that. Openly. I mean, armed forces are a “tool” necessary for you in every turn.
Ahmet Davuto?lu: Of course. I always tell the Prime Minister, in your absence, the same thing in academic jargon, you can’t stay in those lands without hard power. Without hard power, there can be no soft power.
Ya?ar Güler: Sir.
Feridun Sinirlio?lu: The national security has been politicised. I don’t remember anything like this in Turkish political history. It has become a matter of domestic policy. All talks we’ve done on defending our lands, our border security, our sovereign lands in there, they’ve all become a common, cheap domestic policy outfit.
Ya?ar Güler: Exactly.
Feridun Siniro?lu: That has never happened before. Unfortunately but…
Ya?ar Güler: I mean, do even one of the opposition parties support you in such a high point of national security? Sir, is this a justifiable sense of national security?
Feridun Sinirlio?lu: I don’t even remember such a period.
Ya?ar Güler: In what matter can we be unified, if not a matter of national security of such importance? None.
Ahmet Davuto?lu: The year 2012, we didn’t do it 2011. If only we’d took serious action back then, even in the summer of 2012.
Feridun Sinirlio?lu: They were at their lowest back in 2012.
Ahmet Davuto?lu: Internally, they were just like Libya. Who comes in and goes from power is not of any importance to us. But some things…
Ya?ar Güler: Sir, to avoid any confusion, our need in 2011 was guns and ammo. In 2012, 2013 and today also. We’re in the exact same point. We absolutely need to find this and secure that place.
Ahmet Davuto?lu: Guns and ammo are not a big need for that place. Because we couldn’t get the human factor in order…
Crazy, right? What do you think about the YouTube ban? Let us know in the comments below.
And here are some other hostile videos for you to sample: