Posted by: bklunk | June 11, 2007

Anti-Social Networking

Apparently YouTube opens up whole new possibilities for international misunderstanding.

Turkey-Greece relations sour on the Internet – Turkish Daily News Jun 11, 2007

While bilateral trade sparks hope for the easing of tensions between Turkey and Greece, the skies over the Aegean Sea are witness to something contradictory. Few months ago a video on Youtube that showed a Greek combat aircraft intercepting a Turkish F-16 jet launched a virtual battle of words on the Internet between Greeks and Turks. The quarrels were reanimated this time by another video, put on Youtube by a Turkish pilot nicknamed DavidNorum, on which Turkish pilots lock onto Greek Mirages and F-16s. Viewers can hear Turkish pilots’ radio conversations, watch how they �share� Greek combat aircraft and how they teach flying techniques to each other. The video came at a time when the Web site of the Turkish General Staff reported twenty interceptions by Greek fighter jets against Turkish combat aircraft on training missions since the beginning of June.

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  1. Although I believe in the public being able to know and see what goes on in their government, military, etc, i am not sure that these were good videos to put online. It not only has created conflict between Turkey & Greece citizens, but it has also created a competition to show who is the best in jet flying. Also the fact that you can hear what the pilots are saying is not something that will put the people at ease, only get them more involved in this battle of words. The relationships between actors governments are important, but so are the relationships between the people. If the people are not willing to accept one another than conflicts can never truely be resolved within the governments. These videos have only created more problems rather than inform the people that view YouTube.

  2. The internet is a tool that is increasingly serving as a vessel of empowerment for individuals and groups, as opposed to states. I believe this is a huge part of Globalization with a capital G. Now someone can upload a video online and intentionally or unintentionally change the state of relations between two nations, as shown in this article. This is something the world is just going to have to deal with. Unlike Devonie, I think that regulating information flows on the internet, as the 52nd president of the United States put it, is like “nailing Jell-O to a wall”. It has no center, and flows not like a river, but the ocean itself. The true challenge is accepting this information and moving towards peace anyway. This might mean that Turkey and Greece will have to truthfully get along, and not just when the other is looking.

  3. The internet is mighty tool, but in this case it did not change a thing. Only thing that those videos show is humiliation of Greek airforce. The hate between Greeks and Turks is never ending one that lasts since XIV-th century and end of it is not on sight. Today we still can see conflicts between these two states about some islands where almost on daily basis Greek navy intercepts Turkish and vice versa.
    As long there are only conflicts throughout media we do not have to worry, and like Greeks, Turks now what is situation and what are limitations for open conflict.

  4. I agree with Nate in that regulating what is on the internet is extremely difficult. I know that CHina in particular has tried, yet is not very successful, is only becuase of the sheer volume of information out there. In this case, I think that freedom of information had unfortunate consequences that would never have happened without the internet. However, as others have pointed out, tensions between Greece and Turkey have been around for much longer than any of us have, and this just seems to be the latest quarrel. And personally, I would much rather seen conflict over YouTube videos than armed military conflict over something else.

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