Turkey keeps YouTube ban in place despite court orders

Apr 10, 2014
A file photo taken on March 27, 2014 shows a view of a computer screen showing a digital portrait of the Turkish Prime Minister and text reading "Yes we ban" on a laptop computer screen, in front of graffiti in Istanbul

Turkey's government on Thursday said it would keep its block on YouTube in place despite two separate courts ordering the ban be lifted.

In a statement, Turkey's Information and Communications Technologies Authority (BTK) said the ban would remain as was still available on the video-sharing site.

"The measure blocking access to the .com internet site remains in place because some of the content (deemed illegal) keeps being broadcast," the BTK said in a statement posted online.

YouTube was originally blocked on March 27 after an audio recording of top civilian and military officials appeared, allegedly of high-level security talks on Syria.

However, a court in the capital Ankara lifted the ban last Friday, saying a blanket ban violated human rights and instead limited the restriction to people accessing 15 specific videos.

That ruling was followed by a higher Ankara court on Wednesday declaring the blocking of YouTube as illegal.

Despite this, the BTK said YouTube had only removed some of the links deemed offending by the government and added that access to other links had been blocked only in Turkey, while they could still be viewed abroad.

Turkey also blocked Twitter last month after it was used to spread a spate of anonymous leaks implicating Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his inner circle in corruption allegations.

But the government had to comply with a Constitutional Court ruling that found the on the microblogging site violated free speech.

The Internet clampdown ahead of March 30 local elections sparked outrage at home and abroad, with rights groups deploring the curbs as setback to freedom of expression in the EU-hopeful country.

Erdogan's Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) scored a sweeping victory in the municipal polls despite sleaze claims and Internet bans.

Explore further: YouTube appeals to Turkey's Constitutional Court over ban

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Modernmystic
not rated yet Apr 11, 2014
As someone with incomplete knowledge in this area I'm quite unclear on how a country can ban specific sites within their borders.

Can someone help me with a slightly more technical explanation of how this works? It would seem this would be impossible...akin to trying to jam all radio frequencies to prevent citizens from hearing foreign broadcasts etc.