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RIGHTS > Turkish court rejects Twitter’s petition

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Twitter had filed the first petition on March 26 against the March 18 court ruling ordering the suspension of the account.

Twitter had filed the first petition on March 26 against the March 18 court ruling ordering the suspension of the account.

A Turkish court has rejected one of two petitions for lawsuits filed by Twitter, controversially ruling that the San Francisco-based company is not a party in the legal wrangling over the government’s access ban on Twitter.

Twitter had filed the first petition on March 26 against the March 18 court ruling ordering the suspension of the account, @oyyokhirsiza.

In a second petition, the social media platform applied to the Turkish court for the overall unblocking of its service in Turkey, which began on March 20, hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed to “eradicate” Twitter.

The Anatolia 5th Criminal Court of Peace rejected Twitter’s request to remove the block on the @oyyokhirsiza account on March 27. “The court rules to reject the request to undo the preventive closure as there was no court ruling ordering to close down the site,” the ruling said. The court also decided that Twitter.com is not a party in the matter, limiting the conflict to the aforementioned Twitter account and the complainant.

A Turkish court had ruled March 21 that it could not “repeal the ban on Twitter” as the government’s blocking of access to the social media platform is “an executive decision, not a judicial verdict.”

Local election council orders unblocking

Meanwhile, a local election council ordered the removal of the Twitter ban after a complaint filed by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) March 27. The Çankırı Eldivan District Election Council had conveyed its decision to the Telecommunication Directorate (TİB), which is controlled by the Transportation and Communication Ministry. The Council said the Twitter block must be removed throughout the country to fulfil the criteria for fair elections and promotion ahead of the March 30 local polls.

The Ankara 15th Administrative Court later issued a stay of execution order for the Twitter block after a number of complaints were filed to courts last week.

March/27/2014

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