World

Turkish Court Lifts Twitter Ban; YouTube Remains Blocked

A Turkish court ruled the government's ban on Twitter unconstitutional. Access to the site will soon be restored.

Turkish Court Lifts Twitter Ban; YouTube Remains Blocked
Flickr / Andy Melton
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Turkey lifted its controversial Twitter ban Thursday — a day after a court ruled the ban unconstitutional and a violation of free speech.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not immediately act on the constitutional court's ruling, having said in the past nothing would change his stance against social media, but regulators are now working to restore access to the website. (Via Al Jazeera)

The ruling follows nationwide backlash against Erdogan's vow to block access to what he calls the "worst menace to society" last month. (Via ITN)

According to Hurriyet Daily News, Erdogan's government banned both Twitter and YouTube ahead of local elections in an attempt to block leaked recordings that seem to depict state officials engaging in a corruption scandal.

‚ÄčThe BBC reports the subjects of the video discuss staging an attack to justify a war with Syria.

Despite the ban, users were reportedly still able to access Twitter via other ways such as by text message or virtual private networks. (Via BBC)

Even the country's own president bypassed the ban — tweeting his disapproval of the government's actions.

The court's ruling reflects the same concerns officials from other countries have expressed since the ban.

According to CNN, an E.U. official criticized the ban, saying, "Freedom of expression, a fundamental right in any democratic society, includes the right to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority."

And a White House official said the U.S. was "deeply concerned" about the ordeal — adding the ban "undermines [the Turkish people's] ability to exercise freedoms of expression." (Via The Washington Post)

Although access to Twitter will soon be restored in Turkey, YouTube remains blocked pending legal challenges.