Hüseyin Tolu, a PhD student at University of Bristol, wrote a paper after reviewing public documents related to use of FLOSS in IT in the government of Turkey:
“I first review the national ICT policy in Turkey through selecting the most appropriate and elite government documents to have a brief outline of the obstacles for the use of FOSS in public institutions, as well as a genetic perception of the Government views on FOSS that are driven by/ related to the concept of not governing ‘National ICT Policy and Strategy’. To support this, I argue how FOSS is deliberately ignored in ICT projects due to obviously (a) institutional inertia, (b) path dependence, (c) ungovernable ICT changes, and, arguably, (d) corruption in new public management. I then attempted to investigate possible causal and dependency relationships of the currently established interlinks between the Government and unmanageable ICT changes to conclude that the Government has failed in making written ICT Policies and in establishing pervasive and trustworthy (flexible) ICT ecosystems, which recognise either a balanced development between FOSS and PCSS or a FOSS favourable system.”
It documents a camouflage pattern stifling efforts to reform IT in general and using FLOSS in particular. He actually claims that Pardus, a Turkish distro, was developed as leverage in negotiating lower licensing fees from M$. “The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) has developed Pardus Operating Systems (OSs) (nationally distributed Linux distro) between 2003 and 2012. After ten years of Pardus development, the Pardus project has not achieved its initial or subsequent objectives as declared in 2004 & 2011, and has mistakenly diverted away from those objectives to become Pardus Fraud-Debian, as Turkey’s present day accepted open source software solution. Crucially, the Pardus project has been deliberately utilised as leverage to gain better ongoing deals from the Microsoft Corporation.”
That’s the lock-in of a starving slave begging the master for food… The reverse should be true. Turkey should tell M$ where to go. Governments need interoperability and vendor independence. The only way to get that at the moment is with FLOSS. Otherwise governments are beholden to M$’s many costs, abusive EULA, malware, and re-re-reboots forever. On the brighter side, the paper does show that FLOSS is lurking everywhere in governmental IT, just below the surface, and the resources exist to bring FLOSS to the surface in short order. All it will take is political leadership as we see in Brazil, Germany, Russia, India, much of Europe, etc. Governments are supposed to serve their own people, not Microsoft.
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