Turkish court lifts YouTube ban

Photo: Turkish court lifts YouTube ban / Turkey

Just a day after access to Twitter was unblocked upon a Constitutional Court ruling, a local court lifted a ban on the popular video-sharing website YouTube on April 4 Hurriyet Daily News.

Access to YouTube was blocked on March 27 by Turkey's Telecommunications Authority (TİB) without a court decision, hours after recordings of a key security meeting in which government officials discussed a possible false-flag operation against Turkish interests to create a pretext for a war in Syria were leaked online.

The subsequent decision issued after the blocking of access by a local court in Ankara's Golbasi district justified the ban on the grounds of a law incriminating insults to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.

But the Golbasi Court of Peace has now ordered that access to the website be unblocked following an appeal.

The ban on YouTube less than a week after Twitter added more fuel to the outrage against the government's tightening grip on the Internet by empowering the TİB with the authority to block access regardless of a court order.

Following the controversial decision, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had emphasized that the YouTube ban was a question of national security, while dismissing that it could be interpreted as a violation of people's freedoms.

"The Twitter ban is related to privacy, while the ban on YouTube is a matter of national security. It should not be perceived as a restriction of freedoms," Davutoglu said.

Another lawsuit at an Ankara administrative court against the decision filed by the Ankara Bar Association, demanding a stay of execution and a cancelation of the YouTube ban, is still pending.

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