Turkey blocks YouTube after Syria incursion plan video leaks

An alleged video of a conversation between top Turkish officials plotting an attack on militants in Syria spread fast on the video-sharing site.
By Ananth Baliga   |   March 27, 2014 at 3:52 PM  |  Updated March 27, 2014 at 4:03 PM   |   Comments

ISTANBUL, Turkey, March 27 (UPI) -- Turkey blocked YouTube after a sensitive video allegedly showing officials discussing a military incursion into Syria was leaked online by an anonymous user.

This comes barely a week after Turkey banned Twitter before local elections -- a ban suspended by a Turkish court on Wednesday. The state-run news agency, Anadolu, confirmed the ban as an "administrative decision" by the Turkish Telecommunication Authority. The Foreign Ministry issued a statement promising the strictest punishment for those responsible for the leak.

"Eavesdropping on a top secret meeting and leaking recordings is a wretched attack and a grave offense on national security," the statement read, according to Anadolu.

The video reportedly shows Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, National Intelligence Organization chief Hakan Fidan and Deputy Chief of General Staff Yasar Guler talking about a possible attack against militants in Syria.

“Justification can be created,” says a voice, allegedly Fidan’s, according to a report in the newspaper Today’s Zaman. “The matter is to create the will.”

The Foreign Ministry called the tape doctored and Davutoglu called the leak a "declaration of war."

On attempting to access YouTube in Turkey the following message appears: "Access has been blocked by the Turkish Telecommunications Authority."

The ban on Twitter was placed after links were circulated on the social networking that appeared to implicate Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a corruption scandal.


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