Global Outcry Mounts as Turkey Moves Against YouTube

The New York Times reported Thursday that Turkey suspended YouTube “after an audio recording was uploaded to the platform in which the foreign minister and senior military and intelligence officials could be heard discussing the security situation in Syria.”

A Turkish court on Wednesday overturned a government ban on Twitter, the latest blow to a globally ridiculed and largely ineffective campaign launched last week by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) to block access to the popular microblogging platform.

The decision came in response to formal complaints by Turkish lawyers and journalists decrying the move as a violation of basic freedoms, and amid a determined pushback by media outlets. The restrictions had quickly generated international condemnation – the British ambassador to Turkey piled on yesterday, and the U.S. announced it was demanding formal multilateral discussions over the decision – and efforts by Erdogan and his allies to defend them had become increasingly strained. The New York Times noted that that “it was not immediately clear whether the ruling would be appealed or overtaken by a new court order.”

Legal experts said on Wednesday that the telecommunications authority had the right to appeal the Ankara court’s ruling, but that it should comply and end its attempts to block Twitter. A statement from the Justice Ministry hinted at a delay, saying that the authority had 30 days to comply and that a regional administrative court would have the final say in the case.

The Turkish leader on Tuesday declared that “Twitter is “a company [and] actually YouTube is behind it.”

“If you don’t correct the issues, we’ll close the site down. If you abide by the bans, we will abolish the ban. What is Twitter? It’s a company. And actually, YouTube is behind it. They are working with YouTube’s lawyers,” he said during a joint broadcast on private channels NTV and Star.

Today Erdogan doubled down on his accusation and made the “administrative decision” to block access to YouTube.

[Photo: Newsloop Top News / YouTube ]