Turkey Restores YouTube Access Following Two-Month Ban

Turkey Security - Shutterstock - © Kheng Guan Toh

Turkey’s telecommunications regulator said it has complied with a court ruling ordering it to restore access to YouTube

The telecommunications regulator of Turkey has reportedly restored access to YouTube, ending a ban that lasted for two months.

The regulator removed the official order blocking YouTube from its website on Tuesday, following a decision by the country’s Constitutional Court last week that found the ban was in contravention of human rights.


Wiretap leaks

small_youtube01Turkey banned Twitter and YouTube in late March, ahead of local elections on 30 March, after leaked wiretaps were circulated on both sites.

One of the recordings allegedly indicated corruption in the government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, and another was allegedly of high-ranking security officials discussing a possible military intervention in Syria. The telecommunications regulator said at the time that the move was a “precautionary administrative measure”, with Erdogan calling the leaks an act of treason.

The ban on Twitter was lifted in April, and YouTube was to become available as of late on Tuesday, an official from the Prime Minister’s office told Reuters.

‘Open to access’

“As the Constitutional Court verdict was received today, YouTube will be open to access later today,” the official reportedly said.

The court ruling had found that the ban was a violation of the freedom of speech. Erdogan has been a vocal critic of social media sites, and Turkey passed a law earlier this year enabling regulators to block access to any website without a court order.

Turkey previously blocked YouTube in 2007, lifting the ban three years later.

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