Turkey keeps YouTube ban after court backtrack

April 5, 2014
Turkey blocked YouTube after it was used to spread recordings allegedly of top-level security talks on Syria

YouTube will remain blocked in Turkey, despite the end to a similar controversial ban on Twitter, after a court backtracked on an earlier ruling to grant access to the video-sharing site.

The court in the capital Ankara on Friday lifted a March 27 government decision blocking access to YouTube, saying the blanket ban violated human rights, and instead restricting 15 videos.

But the court later reversed the decision, saying the block would remain in place until the allegedly showing top-level security talks on Syria are removed, Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper reported.

The change of heart comes after Turkey's government complied with a Constitutional Court ruling on Thursday and scrapped a similar ban on San-Francisco-based Twitter.

The microblogging site was blocked by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on March 20 after it was used to spread a spate of anonymous leaks implicating his inner circle in corruption.

YouTube was banned in Turkey after the site was used to spread audio recordings in which the voices of senior government, military and spy officials can be heard weighing possible military action inside war-torn Syria.

Both restrictions, the latest steps in Ankara's crackdown on the Internet, have sparked protests from Turkey's Western allies and groups, which have deplored it as curbing the right to free expression.

Washington Friday hailed the court's decision to lift the ban on US-based Twitter and urged the government to "open all social media space in Turkey".

Erdogan, however, slammed ruling, saying he has no "respect" for the court's decision and that "insults to a country's and ministers are all around".

A damaging corruption scandal fuelled by online leaks—which Erdogan has blamed on supporters of influential US-based Islamic cleric Fetullah Gulen—has posed the biggest challenge to Erdogan's 11 years in power.

Despite street protests, crackdowns and graft scandals, Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) scored sweeping wins in the nationwide municipal polls last Sunday.

The vote has led to a tense standoff in the capital, where the opposition claims the AKP rigged the vote to deliver its candidate a narrow victory.

Explore further: Turkish government lifts Twitter ban

Related Stories

Turkish government lifts Twitter ban

April 3, 2014

Turkey's government lifted its ban on Twitter on Thursday—a day after the country's highest court ruled that the block was a violation of freedom and must be restored.

Turkish court backs Twitter but site still blocked

March 29, 2014

In a second ruling against Turkey's ban on Twitter, a Turkish court has overturned an order for the social media network to remove an account that accuses a former minister of corruption, reports said Saturday.

Recommended for you

Cryptocurrency rivals snap at Bitcoin's heels

January 14, 2018

Bitcoin may be the most famous cryptocurrency but, despite a dizzying rise, it's not the most lucrative one and far from alone in a universe that counts 1,400 rivals, and counting.

Top takeaways from Consumers Electronics Show

January 13, 2018

The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, which concluded Friday in Las Vegas, drew some 4,000 exhibitors from dozens of countries and more than 170,000 attendees, showcased some of the latest from the technology world.

Finnish firm detects new Intel security flaw

January 12, 2018

A new security flaw has been found in Intel hardware which could enable hackers to access corporate laptops remotely, Finnish cybersecurity specialist F-Secure said on Friday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.