28 March 2014
The Turkish government reinforced its heavily criticized clampdown on social media on Thursday, blocking YouTube a week after it restricted access to the micro-blogging platform Twitter. The latest curbs came hours after an audio recording of a high-level security meeting was leaked on the video-sharing website.
The Turkish media reports, the decision to block YouTube was taken by Turkey’s telecommunications authority (TİB) as a “precautionary administrative measure.” In February, Turkey passed a much criticized new internet law that allows the telecommunications regulator to block websites without a court order. Turkey previously banned YouTube in 2007, but lifted the ban three years later.
Social media users in Turkey were able to access the site using “virtual private networks” (VPNs) – which allow an anonymous connection to the web – or by changing the domain name settings (DNS) on computers and mobile devices.
The move by the TIB came hours after an anonymous YouTube account posted a leaked audio recording of a confidential conversation between Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu, undersecretary of the foreign ministry Feridun Sinirlioglu and deputy chief of the general staff, Yasar Gürel, discussing possible military action in Syria.
Several sources say that Turkey is in talks with the video-sharing platform and may lift the ban if YouTube agreed to remove the content of this tape.
Several similarly incriminating recordings, showing massive government corruption and prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s direct influence on the media, have been leaked on social media in recent weeks.
AHM-ATİK News Centre