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Turkey ignores court ruling to lift YouTube ban

10 April 2014

Turkish authorities have disregarded the latest court ruling that the ban on You Tube Turkey be lifted.

The Communication Technologies Institution (BTK) announced that it will not unblock YouTube while “criminal content” remains on the popular video-sharing website, disregarding yesterday’s court ruling.

Access to YouTube was blocked without a court order on 27th March by the Telecommunications Authority (TIB), hours after recordings of a key security meeting on Syria were leaked online. What followed was an unprecedented sequence of court rulings and counter court rulings over the block.

The initial ban was first supported by a subsequent court ruling issued by Ankara’s Golbasi district court that justified the ban citing a law which makes it illegal to insult Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.

However, on 4th April the Golbasi Court of Peace demanded access to YouTube be unblocked, but a higher court then reversed this order the following day by ruling that the ban must remain until the “criminal content” is removed by YouTube.

On 9th April, the same court then revoked the preventive measure temporarily imposed upon the prosecution’s request, ruling that the ban on YouTube “be declared null and void.”

The BTK, however, announced late on 9th April that the blanket ban on YouTube would continue despite the latest court order, until all “the criminal content” is removed.

“Some content in 15 links was removed, but YouTube blocked some other content only for Turkish users while leaving it open to other countries. Since 27th March, a total of 151 links have been located on the website broadcasting the same criminal content,” the BTK said, stressing that it had contacted YouTube for the removal of this content.

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