Turkey’s constitutional court rules against YouTube block

Turkey’s constitutional court has ruled that a government block on YouTube violates laws on freedom of expression

Turkey’s constitutional court has ruled that a government block on access to Google’s YouTube service violates laws governing freedom of expression.

Access to the video-sharing site is expected to be restored after the court’s ruling is communicated to the country’s telecommunication authorities.

The block was imposed in March after anonymous users uploaded audio recordings 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”.

The constitutional court’s ruling is widely seen as a snub to Erdogan’s government, reports the BBC.

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".

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 them to be lifted.

Despite the block, however, 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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