Turkey lifts controversial YouTube ban

June 3, 2014
A man looks at the YouTube site on a laptop in Istanbul on March 27, 2014

Turkey lifted a controversial ban on YouTube on Tuesday, days after the country's top court ruled that it breached the right to free speech.

The media-sharing site was blocked in Turkey on March 27 after it was used to leak alleged audio recordings of top government, military and spy officials discussing military action in neighbouring war-torn Syria.

Internet users in Turkey were widely able to access YouTube on Tuesday after the the telecoms authority (TIB) lifted the block on the site.

Turkey's constitutional court ruled Thursday that the on YouTube violated individual rights and freedoms, clearing the way for access to the service to be revived following the two-month ban.

"The ban has been lifted in line with the constitutional court order," a TIB official told AFP.

The government earlier scrapped a similar ban on Twitter, which was also blocked in March after it was used to spread damaging anonymous leaks implicating Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his key allies in corruption.

The ban on social media sites in the lead-up to the March local elections, in which Erdogan's ruling party won a sweeping victory, were criticised as a step backward for Turkey's democracy.

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