BEIRUT

Middle East

Turkey highest court: YouTube ban violates rights

  • (FILES) --A file picture taken on on March 27, 2014 shows a person using a laptop computer showing Youtube's logo in Istanbul, near a poster of Berkin Elvan, the 15-year-old boy who died nine months after he was hit by a tear gas canister while going to buy bread during the 2013 protests in Istanbul. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

ANKARA, Turkey: Turkey's highest court on Thursday ruled that the country's two month-old ban on YouTube violates constitutional rights to freedom of expression, a setback for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who wanted to shut down the video-sharing website.

The Constitutional Court said it would order telecommunications authorities to "ensure that the rights violation is removed," the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. It was not clear how soon access to YouTube would be restored.

The restrictions on YouTube were imposed in late March after the leak of an audio recording of a government security meeting. In the recording, senior officials appeared to be discussing a possible military intervention in Syria. A lawyer representing YouTube, the Turkish Bar Association and legislators from Turkey's main opposition party appealed to the high court, seeking to overturn a ban they called unconstitutional.

Turkey also blocked access to Twitter in March - hours after Erdogan threatened to "rip out the roots" of the micro-blogging site. But early last month, the high court also ordered Turkish authorities to end the ban on Twitter.

The moves by Turkish authorities to block the social networks have provoked widespread criticism by Western governments and human rights organizations.

Following the Twitter ruling, Erdogan said his government would comply, even though it did not respect the decision.

Many tech-savvy users, including Erdogan ally President Abdullah Gul, found ways to circumvent the bans both on Twitter and YouTube while they were in place.

 
Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here