- Title: TURKEY: Turkey court lifts Youtube ban, but site still inaccessible to many
- Date: 30th May 2014
- Summary: ANKARA, TURKEY (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF TURKISH CONSTITUTIONAL COURT BUILDING
- Embargoed: 14th June 2014 13:00
- Location: Turkey
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Communications,Politics,Technology
- Reuters ID: LVACS1XCCZSJ5JZZNRKO5L3GURXI
- Story Text: Turkish telecoms watchdog BTK said on Friday (May 30) it had not yet received a ruling by Turkey's top court ordering the removal of a two-month block on video-sharing website YouTube.
The Constitutional Court on Thursday (May 29) ruled a block on access to YouTube imposed by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government was a violation of rights, but nearly 24 hours after the ruling was announced the video-sharing site remained inaccessible to most Turks.
"I don't understand why they waited for the Constitutional Court's decision. Regular courts had already decided to lift the ban," Istanbul resident Kursat Tarkan said, welcoming the court's decision.
The court said on Thursday it has not yet written its full report on the issue and a source at BTK told Reuters on Friday it was not clear when the decision would arrive.
This is the second time the Constitutional Court has overturned a media ban imposed by the government. Last month it ordered Twitter unblocked after the authorities shut down access in the run up to local elections.
Blocks were imposed after audio recordings purportedly revealing corruption in Erdogan's inner circle were leaked and widely circulated on the sites.
"The ban showed how underdeveloped our country is compared to others. Of course it's good news, but it didn't mean anything once it was closed," Kerem Bayramer said of the block on Youtube.
U.S. Ambassador Francis Ricciardone welcomed the Constitutional Court's decision, saying it was a boost to freedom of expression in Turkey, which has been widely criticised by the West over the government's moves to silence critics.
"The court's decision is good because you can't reach anywhere with bans. People should be educated. They need to learn the culture of using Youtube," Yavuz Karaosmanoglu told Reuters.
Turkish authorities have so far defied orders from lesser courts to lift the YouTube ban, saying some offending content had not been removed from the site.
Erdogan has publicly criticised the Constitutional Court for acting against national interests, repeatedly calling for the ban on Twitter to be re-instated.
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