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Turkish Airlines Loses First Battle In War On Alcohol

Not flying high
Not flying high
Ali DaÄŸlar

ISTANBUL – A Turkish writer has won a court battle against Turkish Airlines for censoring an article published in their inflight magazine.

In June 2009, Buket Uzuner was commissioned to write an article about Istanbul’s Moda neighborhood for Turkish Airlines’ Skylife magazine. In her article she criticized the city of Istanbul’s ban on alcohol sales in Moda, but this portion of the article was edited out of the article before publication.

When Uzuner asked Skylife why her article had been censored, she was told that it was because it was about alcohol. Unsatisfied with the response, the writer sued Turkish Airlines for censoring her article without her permission. She asked them to recall the magazine and to republish the article in full.

Turkish Airlines argued that the article was cut to protect Turkey’s image and that the magazine had no interest in getting involved with political issues.

However, Uzuner’s lawyer argued that because the writer was famous and the article literary, the magazine was not allowed to make cuts without obtaining permission from the author.

The court decided in favor of Uzuner, ruling that the article was indeed a literary work. It ordered Turkish Airlines to recall the June 2009 edition of Skylife and to take the article down from the magazine’s website. The court also ruled that a new uncensored version should be republished within three months. Uzuner was also awarded compensation for her legal fees.

Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines recently banned alcoholic beverages on all business-class domestic flights, apart from six destinations.

The company said that the ban was made for “purely economic reasons” and not on religious grounds. According to the airline there is low demand for alcohol on flights to destinations where the service of alcoholic beverages has been discontinued.

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How WeChat Is Helping Bhutan's Disappearing Languages Find A New Voice

Phd candidate Tashi Dema, from the University of New England, discusses how social media apps, particularly WeChat, are helping to preserve local Bhutanese languages without a written alphabet. Dema argues that preservation of these languages has far-reaching benefits for the small Himalayan country's rich culture and tradition.

A monk in red performing while a sillouhet of a monk is being illuminated by their phone.

Monk performing while a sillouheted monk is on their phone

Source: Caterina Sanders/Unsplash
Tashi Dema

THIMPHU — Dechen, 40, grew up in Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Her native language was Mangdip, also known as Nyenkha, as her parents are originally from central Bhutan. She went to schools in the city, where the curriculum was predominantly taught in Dzongkha, the national language, and English.

In Dechen’s house, everyone spoke Dzongkha. She only spoke her mother tongue when she had guests from her village, who could not understand Dzongkha and during her occasional visits to her village nestled in the mountains. Her mother tongue knowledge was limited.

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However, things have now changed.

With 90% of Bhutanese people using social media and social media penetrating all remotes areas in Bhutan, Dechen’s relatives in remote villages are connected on WeChat.

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