Turkish Court Suspends Twitter Ban


Turkish court rules that the country must lift a ban on Twitter that had been imposed last week by Turkey’s Prime Minister

A court in the Turkish capital Ankara has suspended the ruling which has seen citizens unable to access Twitter in the country for the last six days.

Following an appeal from Turkey’s Bar Association against last week’s ruling, the administrative court in has issued a temporary injunction ordering the country’s telecommunications authority, the TIB, to restore access to Twitter.

The court will now inform the TIB of its decision, which is expected to grant access to Twitter in the coming hours, according to local television. The Bar Association has said the original ruling was without legal grounds and ‘an arbitrary decision’.

Turkey’s deputy prime minister, Bulent Arinc, urged the TIB to respect the court order, as it could still respond against the ruling.

“We abide by the court rulings, that’s what the constitution orders. We may not like them, but we abide by them. If this decision is genuine … then what TIB needs to do after this is obvious,” Arinc told reporters in Hatay earlier today.

Turkey Security - Shutterstock - © Kheng Guan TohReinstated

The Twitter ban was orchestrated by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an attempt to clamp down on rumours of a corruption scandal ahead of upcoming elections on 30 March. Posts from several anonymous accounts had claimed that many senior government members were implicated in the scandal, leading Mr. Erdogan vowing to “root out Twitter”, claiming it was “threatening national security”.

Users attempting to access the website were redirected to a statement by Turkey’s telecommunications regulator BTK, which cited a court order to apply ‘protection measures’ on the website.

Alternative proxy network access points were quickly established to allow access to the site, with DNS addresses being spray-painted in major cities around the country, which has around ten million registered Twitter users.

It seemed that the ban was being avoided in other ways, however. Rebel tweeters were able to access the site inside the country including the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, the Mayor of Turkish capital Ankara, and even the country’s President, Abdullah Gul, who tweeted that “I hope this practice (Twitter blocking) doesn’t last too long”.

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