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Turkey blocks Youtube as alleged recording of Syria discussion leaks

Just a week after Twitter block
Fri Mar 28 2014, 13:16
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A TURKISH COURT has ordered Youtube blocked in the country, preventing access by users just a day after a court ordered the government to lift its block on Twitter.

The move to impede citizens' freedom of speech via social media in the country comes shortly after what appeared to be a leaked audio recording of Turkish officials discussing Syria was posted on Youtube.

The anonymous posting was an audio file with photographs of the officials involved. Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan denounced the recording as "villainous", Reuters reported.

Apparently the recording exposed a discussion of military operations in Syria between Turkey's intelligence chief, its foreign minister and the deputy head of the armed forces.

The country's telecoms authority (TIB) said it had taken an "administrative measure" against Youtube, but another report suggested that talks were underway.

Some users found access blocked while others could still use the website.

A Google spokesperson told The INQUIRER, "We're seeing reports that some users are not able to access Youtube in Turkey. There is no technical issue on our side and we're looking into the situation."

Courts in Turkey blocked access to Twitter a week ago in a controversial pre-election ruling. However, by Wednesday this week the court had overturned the block on Twitter services, allowing Turkey's telecoms firms to unblock the network.

The decision to block the social network apparently was taken at the request of Turkish prime minister Erdogan, but it does not have the support of many others.

Despite having been in place for less than a day, the block had already drawn criticism from Europe. Twitter, for its part, recommended a workaround for Turkish users.

Štefan Füle, the European Commission (EC) commissioner for enlargement and European neighbourhood policy, was critical of the social network blockade.

"Gravely concerned by blocked @twitter - being free 2communicate&freely choose the means 2do it,is fundamental EU value," he said.

Neelie Kroes, EC VP for the digital agenda, called the ban pointless. "The Twitter ban in #Turkey is groundless, pointless, cowardly," she said. "Turkish people and intl community will see this as censorship. It is."

Twitter was ready with a workaround for locked-out Turkish users.

The same thing happened in 2007, twice, when a Turkish court ordered Youtube blocked because it hosted video clips that were considered insulting to leading political figures. µ

 

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