News

Turkey now targeting YouTube

Warwick Ashford

Turkey appears to be trying to block YouTube a day after a court ordered an end to the ban imposed on Twitter a week ago.

The Turkish telecoms authority said it had taken an “administrative measure” against the site after an audio recording was uploaded anonymously of what sounds like Turkish officials discussing Syria.

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The recording relates to possible military operations in Syria and was accompanied by photographs of Turkey’s intelligence chief, foreign minister and the deputy head of the armed forces.

While some YouTube users found access blocked, others could still use the site, reports the BBC.

Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan denounced the leak as "villainous" and foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the posting a "declaration of war," according to Reuters.

The escalation of tensions between Erdogan and his rivals in the run up to elections comes a week after he vowed to shut down Twitter after it failed to remove allegations of corruption in his inner circle.

Erdogan, who faces local elections on Sunday, has accused social media of spreading misinformation and has previously threatened to ban YouTube and Facebook.

On Wednesday, a court in the capital, Ankara, ordered the lifting of the Erdogan-backed ban on Twitter, but reports said it could be weeks before the order takes effect.

Earlier in the week, Turkey increased its efforts to block access to Twitter after many users, including the country’s president, found ways around  the ban.

Twitter said it had filed a challenge to the ban and was concerned about a court order to suspend an account which had accused a former minister of corruption.

The ban has been met with national and international outrage, with EU officials, human rights organisations, the US government and the UN expressing concern.

Turkish authorities have a long history of monitoring and filtering web content, even intermittently blocking access to online services.


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