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RIGHTS > YouTube to remain blocked in Turkey despite court order: BTK

ISTANBUL

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A person uses a laptop computer showing Youtube's logo. AFP Photo

A person uses a laptop computer showing Youtube's logo. AFP Photo

The Communication Technologies Institution (BTK) has announced that it will not unblock YouTube while “criminal content” remains on the popular video-sharing website, contradicting the latest April 9 court ruling.

Access to YouTube was blocked without a court order on March 27 by the Telecommunications Authority (TİB), hours after recordings of a key security meeting on Syria were leaked online. What has followed is a remarkable zigzagging of court rulings and counter court rulings over the block.

The initial ban was first supported by a subsequent court ruling issued by Ankara’s Gölbaşı district court that justified the ban based on a law criminalizing insults to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.

However, on April 4 the Gölbaşı Court of Peace demanded access to YouTube be unblocked, but a higher court then reversed this order on April 5 by ruling that the ban must remain until the “criminal content” is removed by YouTube.

On April 9, the same court then revoked the preventive measure temporarily imposed upon the prosecution’s request, ruling that the ban on YouTube “be declared null and void.”

The BTK, however, announced late April 9 that the blanket ban on YouTube would continue despite the latest court order, until all “the criminal content” is removed.

“Some content in 15 links was removed, but YouTube blocked some other content only for Turkish users while leaving it open to other countries. Since March 27, a total of 151 links have been located on the website broadcasting the same criminal content,” the BTK said, stressing that it had contacted YouTube for the removal of this content.

April/10/2014

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