Turkey lifts YouTube ban after two days

Turkey lifted its ban on YouTube Friday, an official for the country's largest telecommunications firm said, two days after a court ordered the Web site blocked because of videos that allegedly insulted the founder of modern Turkey. Ahter Kutadgu, head of corporate communications for Turk Telekom, told the Anatolia news agency his company had been notified of a court decision to lift the ban. Kutadgu did not elaborate on the court's reasoning. "As soon as the court decision lifting the ban reached us, we immediately opened YouTube," he said. The Istanbul court that ordered the site blocked on Wednesday had said it would lift the ban as soon as it ascertained that videos insulting Turkey's founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, were removed.

The ban had been condemned by the press freedom group Reporters without Borders and drew attention to Turkey's shaky record on permitting free expression. It is illegal in Turkey to insult Ataturk, a revered figure whose image graces every denomination of currency and whose portrait hangs in nearly all government offices. Several prominent Turkish journalists and writers have been tried for allegedly insulting Ataturk or for the crime of insulting "Turkishness."

News source: News.com

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32 Comments

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Can Neowin ban all mention of national borders in future to avoid slanging matches like this. IT/Internet/etc are the only important things on this site, so this article should have been about "a country", rather than naming Turkey and turning this into a second-rate sixth-form politics debate. ;-)

This situation reminds me of the CRTC and its nationalist censorship up here in Canada. We are able to technically receive TV stations throughout the world, but the CRTC blocks them as they consider it a threat to Canadian culture/nationalsim. Heck, it is not as if these TV stations insult Canada either (which means the situation is kind of worse than this Turkish 2-day YouTube ban). I could understand if the situation had something to do with obscenities, but nationalism is from the 19th century.

DClark said,
This situation reminds me of the CRTC and its nationalist censorship up here in Canada. We are able to technically receive TV stations throughout the world, but the CRTC blocks them as they consider it a threat to Canadian culture/nationalsim. Heck, it is not as if these TV stations insult Canada either (which means the situation is kind of worse than this Turkish 2-day YouTube ban). I could understand if the situation had something to do with obscenities, but nationalism is from the 19th century.

What the heck are you talking about? The CRTC doesn't censor anything. Back that up with some evidence, 'k?

Croquant said,

What the heck are you talking about? The CRTC doesn't censor anything. Back that up with some evidence, 'k?

Probably talking about Fox News :P

Which airs there now I think.

SimpleRules said,

Probably talking about Fox News :P

Which airs there now I think.

Fox should be banned from everywhere anyways.

Primexx said,

Fox should be banned from everywhere anyways.


Agreed. The Fox Noise Channel is repulsive and makes me despair for mankind.

Primexx said,

Fox should be banned from everywhere anyways.

Yes, we need George Bush to step in and make sure Fox News is fair ...

The government regulating media will lead to every station being as pro-liberal, or pro-conservative as Fox News - right now, they're free to pick their bias and that way people who want the whole truth can find it.

I must say this has nothing to do with EU or anything, as soon as people heard about the ban, all papers and writers wrote how idiotic it was, people spoke for themselves. We have a rather conservative government system but it's still (kind of) democracy, they wouldn't keep something up against all of its people.

By the way, just to make it clear, even though insulting ataturk or turkishness (whatever that means) is against the law, it's rarely applied and it's fully up to the prosecutor of the main court. Every once in a while, the prosecutor takes someone to court from these laws, but I haven't seen anyone convicted yet; because many people show great intolerance to such things.

Finally a comment which makes sense.

I sometimes see Turkey as a 'black' guy trying to enter the 'white' school in the nineteenth century. Bashed from all sides... a lot of reasons given for not accepting him... but no one says the real reason, and that is being 'black' :)

Anyway... I agree with you that removing the court order has nothing to do with the EU. Even if this happened 10 years ago they would still remove the court order. Turkish politicians generally don't tend to stand against the will of millions.

Do you remember that 10 years ago they attempted to ban the private radios in Turkey? Even back then the whole parliament reunited to change the constitution and they opened the private radios again.

drews said,
I, for one, welcome our new Turkishness Overlords.

Amazingly, that actually makes sense.
Imagine what was going through the head of the judge that thought baning YouTube was a reasoned and prudent action:
{Insultung our supposed founder? That's Not Turkish Enough! I Must Ban YouTube!}
Yes, these highly cultured and civilized Turks did not try to chop anyone's head off, blow anything up, or declare a Jihad. Democracy is on the march!

Amazingly, that actually makes sense.
Imagine what was going through the head of the judge that thought baning YouTube was a reasoned and prudent action:
{Insultung our supposed founder? That's Not Turkish Enough! I Must Ban YouTube!}
Yes, these highly cultured and civilized Turks did not try to chop anyone's head off, blow anything up, or declare a Jihad. Democracy is on the march!

Do you have personal issue with a turk or are you plain racist?

I don't see how censorship and massive government bureaucracy would stop them getting in to the EU ... infact, it might have helped them.

I think the EU dictators will be looking at their request and adding points for nationalized companies, especially in telecommunications, and their internet censorship will get double points.

SimpleRules said,
I don't see how censorship and massive government bureaucracy would stop them getting in to the EU ... infact, it might have helped them.

I think the EU dictators will be looking at their request and adding points for nationalized companies, especially in telecommunications, and their internet censorship will get double points.

Not you again...
I suggest getting some basic education before posting here, as you have a clear bias against the EU in any news story remotely related to the EU.

zivan56 said,

Not you again...
I suggest getting some basic education before posting here, as you have a clear bias against the EU in any news story remotely related to the EU.

Its not bias you fool - its opinion, my opinion of the EU isn't good - clearly, why would it be? Its just another wasteful layer of government that was an attempt to create a United States of Europe and has instead created a mess.

We pay through the roof to subsidize Pierre's farm for no reason other than to keep the fragile and feeble French economy afloat and have courts that ignore the rule of the United Kingdom and impose on us their far-left views ...

If I wanted to be ruled by unelected European boffins, I would move to Brussels, I don't ... I elect the UK government, the buck should stop there.

What good has the EU done anyway? Its made our economies dependant on the lackluster French, Spanish and Italian "economies", and for liberals, it made Africa even poorer!

SimpleRules said,

Its not bias you fool - its opinion, my opinion of the EU isn't good - clearly, why would it be? Its just another wasteful layer of government that was an attempt to create a United States of Europe and has instead created a mess.

We pay through the roof to subsidize Pierre's farm for no reason other than to keep the fragile and feeble French economy afloat and have courts that ignore the rule of the United Kingdom and impose on us their far-left views ...

If I wanted to be ruled by unelected European boffins, I would move to Brussels, I don't ... I elect the UK government, the buck should stop there.

What good has the EU done anyway? Its made our economies dependant on the lackluster French, Spanish and Italian "economies", and for liberals, it made Africa even poorer!

You are correct in every point.

If these EU lovers knew how much money is given to EU MP's and their hangers-on & how much money is creamed off the tax payer when that money could be used to help the poorer nations of the world then they would hold their noise.

If I became a EU MP I would get £58,000 basic pay & get £40,000 for a secretary, my fiance I would employ, then all my first class travel, food, hotel rooms and my own pad in the UK paid for from the tax payers purse.

Then I would have free translators, I would have a big fat pension scheme, I would be looked after buy secuirty guards, screw winning the lottery I would be on the biggest European gravy train heading for Brussels.

The EU are a joke, sooner they close the sham down the better.

leesmithg said,

You are correct in every point.

If these EU lovers knew how much money is given to EU MP's and their hangers-on & how much money is creamed off the tax payer when that money could be used to help the poorer nations of the world then they would hold their noise.

If I became a EU MP I would get £58,000 basic pay & get £40,000 for a secretary, my fiance I would employ, then all my first class travel, food, hotel rooms and my own pad in the UK paid for from the tax payers purse.

Then I would have free translators, I would have a big fat pension scheme, I would be looked after buy secuirty guards, screw winning the lottery I would be on the biggest European gravy train heading for Brussels.

The EU are a joke, sooner they close the sham down the better.

Their fat pay cheques are disgusting, I'm sure they were charging all sorts of luxury to the tax payers at their recent summit on Global Warming ...

The UKIP needs to get its act together and win the election, definatley not the Conseratives in their current form, Labour and most certainly not the Lib Dems ... I will leave the country if the latter two win again, the Lib Dems will be a destructive force, and Labour are getting too cocky and are loosing their accountability to the people ... why else would Tony Blair push through laws that the majority of people hate? He knows he is going, he will schedule Gordon Browns entry in a way that makes the people feel they should give him 4 years to have a go at the Prime Minister role and then screw up the country even further.

SimpleRules said,
Its not bias you fool - its opinion, my opinion of the EU isn't good - clearly, why would it be? Its just another wasteful layer of government that was an attempt to create a United States of Europe and has instead created a mess.

How about posting that info next time instead of brainless slander? It's not an opinion if you have nothing to back it up; rather, pure bias.

zivan56 said,

How about posting that info next time instead of brainless slander? It's not an opinion if you have nothing to back it up; rather, pure bias.


When has opinion ever been based on fact?

Fact is opinionless, its either true or false, opinion isn't either.

Slander? I'm sure you want all the conservatives sued if they dare use freedom of speech, something clearly reserved for liberals?

Just so Neowinians aren't mislead, UKIP are a fringe party who don't have an MP in the British parliament.

They're basically the Conservative Party minus David Cameron's "compassionate conservative" PR sham. UKIP is filled with xenophobes, sexists, homophobes, inbred hicks and (worst of all) ex-Tories.

kronix2 said,
Just so Neowinians aren't mislead, UKIP are a fringe party who don't have an MP in the British parliament.

They're basically the Conservative Party minus David Cameron's "compassionate conservative" PR sham. UKIP is filled with xenophobes, sexists, homophobes, inbred hicks and (worst of all) ex-Tories.

Xenophobes? A strong immigration policy means xenophobia, we have a right to govern our land you know ... it isn't Pierres land, he can't walse in from France and demand citizenship.

Sexists? You know thats false.

Homophobes? Again, they don't have god, oops obviously they don't believe in one, given right to get a legal document allowing their behaviour.

Liberal nutjob.

it isn't Pierres land, he can't walse in from France and demand citizenship.

Pierre doesn't need to demand citizenship. Anybody who holds an EU passport is entitled to live and work here, under EU law. You've chosen France as an example which is ironic, given the large number of British people who migrate to France. Thank you for showing a lack of understanding of basic EU law.

Homophobes? Again, they don't have god, oops obviously they don't believe in one, given right to get a legal document allowing their behaviour.

You do know that homosexuality is legal, right? It has been for about 40 years. The "legal documents" amount to British and European law, opposed only by extremist parties.

You're welcome to your minority viewpoint; I say the same to Muslims and other minority demographics. However, the majority don't give a damn about what religion says about homosexuality.

Liberal nutjob.

Being described as a liberal is a huge compliment in Britain. Either you're not a Brit, or you're oblivious to the fact that "liberal" isn't a pejorative outside of parts of America.

"Several prominent Turkish journalists and writers have been tried for allegedly insulting Ataturk or for the crime of insulting 'Turkishness.'"

There must have be a Monty Python skit something along the lines of this...


Glad they lifted that ban though.