By Heini Järvinen

Twitter and YouTube were banned at the end of March in Turkey, after recordings that raised allegations of corruption towards the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and some of the members of his cabinet were posted to the social media platforms. Turkish government justified the blocking by social media platforms’ refusal to remove offensive content despite court orders. The ban on Twitter was lifted on 2 April after the High Court decided that it was against the constitution.

A Twitter delegation visited Turkey in April for negotiations with the government about their broadcasting policy. Twitter executives admitted that as a result of the negotiations they blocked two accounts that were used as platforms for revealing corruption. The access to these accounts is limited in Turkey, but they stay accessible in other parts of the world.

Although YouTube remains for now unavailable to Turkish audiences, the head of The Turkish information and communication technologies authority BTK Tayfun Acarer stated on 6 May that “the problem” stemmed from the fact that these two platforms broadcast from overseas, and that he hopes the problem with YouTube will also be solved in near future.

Twitter blocks two accounts critical of Turkish govt (21.04.2014)
http://rt.com/news/turkey-twitter-whistleblower-censorship-900/

Turkey assures that Twitter will close accounts (only in French, 15.04.2014)
http://www.numerama.com/magazine/29097-la-turquie-assure-que-twitter-va-fermer-des-comptes.html

Turkey removes Twitter ban following court decision (09.04.2014)
http://edri.org/turkey-removes-twitter-ban-following-court-decision/

Turkey refuses to lift YouTube ban despite court ruling (11.04.2014)
http://www.albawaba.com/news/turkey-youtube-ban-568025

Comment is free: Turkey’s YouTube and Twitter bans show a government in serious trouble (28.03.2014)
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/28/turkey-youtube-twitter-ban-government-trouble

BTK director: I hope the problem with Youtube will be solved (only in Turkish, 07.05.2014)
http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/teknoloji/26369361.asp

(Contribution by Melih Kirlidog – EDRi member Alternatif Bilişim – Turkey)