Turkey refuses to lift YouTube ban despite court ruling

Published April 11th, 2014 - 04:00 GMT

The Turkish government has defied court orders to lift a ban imposed on the video sharing website YouTube after the release of controversial recordings containing top secret security talks.

The Information and Communications Technologies Authority (BTK) said in a statement on Thursday that it would not remove the ban on YouTube, despite the court orders.

"The measure blocking access to the youtube.com Internet site remains in place," it said.

On Wednesday, a court in the capital, Ankara, ruled to unblock the website. A similar court order was also made on April 4, with the court saying the ban violated human rights.

YouTube was blocked on March 27 after the release of an audio recording revealing a discussion among top Turkish security officials about a possible false-flag operation to justify a military offensive against Syria.

Ankara also blocked access to Twitter on March 20, after it was used to spread corruption allegations against Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his inner circle. The Constitutional Court lifted the ban on April 3.

The BTK said the ban on YouTube would remain "because some of the said content continues to be available on the Internet site."

Erdogan ordered the Internet curbs in the run-up to key local elections last Sunday, in which his ruling Justice and Development party (AK) won a majority of the local government seats despite recent graft allegations and a harsh police crackdown on anti-government protesters last June.

Amnesty International has described the Internet bans as a “crude attempt at government censorship that will only generate deeper distrust and frustration


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