Turkey finally restores access to YouTube

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Turkey finally restores access to YouTube

Warwick Ashford

Turkey has restored normal access to Google’s YouTube video sharing site, two months after banning the site and attempting to block access to it.

The move comes after Turkey’s constitutional court ruled that the government block on access to the site violated the country’s laws governing freedom of expression.

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The block was imposed in March after anonymous users uploaded audio recordings alleging official corruption and of what sounded like Turkish officials discussing Syria.

At the time, Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan denounced the leak as "villainous" and foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the posting a "declaration of war”.

Erdogan criticised social media sites such as Twitter and YouTube in the run-up to elections on 30 March.

Twitter was banned after a user posted damaging allegations of corruption implicating those close to Erdogan, who vowed to "wipe out Twitter".

Earlier this year, Turkey passed a controversial law that allows regulators to block any site without needing a court order.

Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook were heavily used by protesters during anti-government demonstrations last year.

The block on Twitter was lifted in April after a constitutional court ruling, but the block on YouTube has remained in place despite decisions from lower courts calling on the government for the ban to be lifted.

Despite the block, many people in Turkey have found various ways of circumventing government-imposed controls.

YouTube was blocked previously in Turkey in 2007, but that ban was lifted in 2010.

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


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