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YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, April 10 2014

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

In a statement, the Information and Communications Technologies Authority (BTK) said, "The measure blocking access to the youtube.com internet site remains in place.”

YouTube was banned on March 27, after recordings allegedly revealing corruption in Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan government were uploaded to the site, and just before local elections took place. Erdogan claims the videos are part of a smear campaign to undermine his regime.

BTK has said that the block will remain until YouTube removes “criminal content” that the Technologies Authority has requested to be taken down.

On April 4 a lower court in Ankara decided to remove the initial ban on YouTube, citing violations of human rights. Shortly after, it reversed its position to say the block would remain until the audio of security talks about Syria are taken down.

An April 9 ruling by a higher court overturned that ban, saying it infringed on free speech. Like the first court initially recommended before it changed its mind, the higher court suggested a narrower ban on the 15 offending videos, and not the entire site.

However, it seems that BTK wants the content removed from YouTube worldwide, not only in Turkey.

Twitter user Merlinka sums it up pretty well in these two tweets:

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