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RIGHTS > Turkey unblocks access to YouTube after 67 days

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The government had moved to block access to YouTube after a recording of a secret Foreign Ministry meeting on Syria, attended by top officials, leaked online on March 27.

The government had moved to block access to YouTube after a recording of a secret Foreign Ministry meeting on Syria, attended by top officials, leaked online on March 27.

The Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) unblocked access to YouTube on June 3, some 67 days after a ban that triggered global criticism of the Turkish government’s tightening grip on the Internet.

The decision entered into force only after the Constitutional Court ruled that the ban violated the rights of users and freedom of speech. The Court had also issued a similar ruling regarding the Twitter block, which was imposed less than a week before the block of YouTube, ahead of the March 30 local elections.

The Court’s ruling was conveyed to TİB on June 3, after which the latter’s YouTube block decision was removed from its website.

The government had moved to block access to YouTube after a recording of a secret Foreign Ministry meeting on Syria, attended by top officials, leaked online on March 27.

A series of individual applications were then filed to overturn the ban, including one by the company itself through its lawyer Gönenç Gürkaynak. Other applications came from the president of the Union of Turkey’s Bar Associations (TBB), Metin Feyzioğlu, and independent lawyer Kerem Altıparmak.

The previous ruling to unblock Twitter had triggered a major row between the Constitutional Court and the government. The government claimed that Turkey’s top judicial organ had abused its powers by taking action before the exhaustion of all legal means.

June/03/2014

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