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Turkey Blocks YouTube. Again.

Categories: Turkey


For the second time in a year, a Turkish court ordered, on Tuesday September 18, to block access [1] to YouTube.com [2] over videos deemed insulting to the country's leaders.

The decision followed a complaint by a resident in the eastern city of Sivas that the site hosted videos containing insults against Turkey's founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the army.

It's a tumultuous [3] time for youtube in Turkey. A wave of controversy over an ultra nationalist video [4], posted on Youtube, praising the assassination of Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink [5], has made its way to the country's most popular newspapers and… to the court. According to Turkish Daily News [6], Dink’s lawyers said that the video “incites people to commit hate crimes by abusing race and religion and by praising a murderer,” and that they are preparing to file a complaint about it.

On March of this year, the country’s largest telecommunications services provider, Turk Telekom [7], blocked access [8] to YouTube [2], for two days, following a court decision deeming that videos appearing on the site were insulting to the father of modern Turkey, Kemal Atatürk [9], and to the Turkish people.

On August 17, 2007, the Turkish Fatih Second Civil Court of First Instance blocked access to the entire wordpress.com domain [10] after alleged libel of Turkish Islamic-creationist [11], Adnan Oktar, aka Harun Yahya [12].