YouTube blocked for 2 days in Turkey

By EDRi · March 14, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The video-sharing website Youtube, was blocked on 7 March 2007
by a court order in Turkey, after some videos insulting Turkey’s founding
father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had been uploaded on its servers. The ban was
lifted two days later, when the videos were removed from the website.

Some of the videos, considered offending by the court, presented Ataturk and
the Turkish people as homosexuals. In others, insults were proffered to the
Turkish flag and Ataturk’s portrait.

The court ordered the Turkish ISPs to block the video-sharing website, based
on Article 301 from the Turkish Penal Code, known as the main
obstacle to freedom of speech. Article 301 considers insulting Ataturk as
well Turkishness as a crime. However, after a petition from Turk Telekom,
the court has made it clear that it will changeits decision if the videos
are removed.

Turkey’s leading ISP, Turk Telecom blocked the site right away after
receiving the decision. The head of the company Paul Doany confirmed:
“We are not in a position to say if the YouTube video was insulting, we just
respect the court’s decision.”

The order was heavily criticized in Turkey and abroad. Reporters Without
Borders quickly reacted by saying that “Blocking all access to a
video-sharing site because of a few videos that are considered offensive is
a radical and inappropriate measure.”

One of the editorialists at Hurriyet pointed out that the blocking just made
the problem worst: “While protesting a video clip which at first only a
handful of people even knew about, and then moving to block its broadcast in
Turkey, what we achieved was that now, the entire country knows about it. ”

A common declaration has been published by 17 NGOs in the IT field, where
they have protested against every attempt of filtering the Internet
including the recent YouTube event, underlining that the latter has became
“an unlucky progress” as it indicates the future threats against the
Internet. “This is another proof that Internet is not correctly understood,
because the procedure for preventing the YouTube access is the same with the
procedure for the printed press. It is like closing a whole library because
of a single book which was found improper.”

Two days later, after the videos were removed from the Youtube website, the
court lifted the ban, so the site is now again accessible from Turkey.
However, the penal case continues and the court tries to identify the person
that has uploaded the videos to the website.

YouTube unblocked after withdrawal of videos insulting Ataturk (9.03.2007)

Turkey revokes YouTube ban (10.03.2007)

YouTube: We didn’t solve the problem, just made it worse (8.03.2007)

The ban on Turks by Turks (12.03.2007)

Informatica/Information/Consumer NGOs – “Own your Internet” Declaration