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Patreon closes account of exiled journalist over threat by Turkish gov’t

Patreon has blocked account of Kamil Maman, an exiled Turkish journalist in Canada, in Turkey after Turkish government threatened to close Patreon completely in Turkey.

“We are being asked to block access to your Patreon page in Turkey or risk having access to the entirety of Patreon blocked by the Turkish Information and Communication Technologies Authority,” said Weston Dombroski, Copyright Specialist at Patreon, in an e mail sent to inform journalist Maman.

“In order to allow other Turkish creators to maintain their presence/accessibility in Turkey, we have complied with this request and have blocked access to your page,” added Dombroski.

“This was not an easy decision for Patreon, as we are huge proponents of free speech, but it was a decision we made in order to best protect access to Turkish creators.”

Patreon also informed Turkish journalist that he could continue to use his account in other countries.

According to the e-mail, the Turkish Information and Communication Technologies Authority claimed that journalist Maman has violated Turkish law no: 5651 which is on ‘regulation of the publications on the internet and combating crimes committed by means of such publications.’

Patreon has been an important platform for exiled Turkish journalists, academics to continue to their activities by online contributions of people.

“Dictator [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan has made my Patreon account blocked in Turkey. I condemn Patreon for giving in the pressure,” said Maman in his Twitter message on Thursday.

“I think they [Turkish government] are not happy with our publications.”