The New York Times: Civil disobedience on a Turkish game show- Robert Mackey

Video from Monday’s broadcast of the Turkish quiz show “Kelime Oyunu,” or “The Word Game,” which took the current street protests in Turkey as its theme

While most of Turkey’s journalists were carefully avoiding mention of the tens of thousands of protesters who poured into the streets this week, in a show of deference to the government that enraged supporters of the demonstrations, the host of one Turkish game show found a way to raise the issue not once but 70 times during a broadcast on Monday night.

As dozens of flabbergasted viewers reported on Twitter, Ali Ihsan Varol, the star of the Bloomberg TV quiz show “Kelime Oyunu,” or “The Word Game,” crafted the questions so that all of the answers — phrases like “Taksim,” “gas mask,” “Twitter” and “dictator” — were thinly veiled references to the government’s failed crackdown on dissent and the way the news media blackout had been undermined by social networking.

Writing about Mr. Varol’s act of puckish civil disobedience on her blog on Wednesday, the Turkish sociologist Zeynep Tufekci translated all 70 leading questions and pointed answer. The final two were:

To voluntarily give up a position: Resign

The act that makes a person bigger by asking to be forgiven for wrong actions: Apologize

The day after his sudden turn into political satire, Mr. Varol reported on Twitter that he had been asked not to go ahead with the scheduled live broadcast of his show and that a prerecorded episode would be shown instead. On Wednesday, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported, the host described his current situation as “somewhat complicated.”

05 June 2013