Turkish government unblocks YouTube after two-month ban

67 days after the government shut down the video sharing site, YouTube returns to Turkey

Topics: YouTube, Turkey, youtube ban, Social Media, technology, Government, Free Speech, ,

Turkish government unblocks YouTube after two-month ban (Credit: AP/Richard Vogel)

At the end of March — over two months ago — the Turkish government took “administrative measures” against the video sharing site, YouTube. Tuesday, the Turkish telecommunications authority, officially lifted its ban on the site.

The unblocking of YouTube comes several days after Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled that the ban violated freedom of speech. YouTube confirmed to Mashable that the the site was indeed unblocked, stating:

“We are glad that YouTube has been restored in Turkey following our successful appeal to the courts, and that people and businesses can once again access and share information on YouTube.”

The 67-day YouTube ban began after a leaked tape of Turkish officials discussing Syria appeared on the social media site. At the time, Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the leak a “national security issue.” This audio was just one of many incriminating tapes that have been leaked since December of 2013. According to the New York Times, the audio shows abuse of power and attempts to control the media.

The YouTube ban also came just days before local elections, which were held on March 30, and a short time after Turkey banned Twitter. The Twitter ban was lifted in April after negotiations between Twitter executives and Turkish officials, and after Twitter agreed to comply with court orders to remove certain content.

h/t Mashable, Huffington Post


Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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