Turkey restores Twitter, YouTube still banned

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed social media as evil as civil unrest escalates in Turkey.
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   April 3, 2014 at 5:21 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, April 3 (UPI) -- Turkey has lifted its ban on Twitter after a court ruled the ban unconstitutional, though YouTube remains blocked.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not immediately work to remove the ban but regulators are working to remove the block on the social media website. Erdogan's resistance is not surprising as just last month he called social media "the worst menace to society."

The block was enacted to prevent leaks of recordings of Turkish officials engaged in a corruption scandal that has caused anti-government protesters to demand Erdogan resign.

The ban was not very successful, as people found a workaround by using VPNs or text messages to use the service. Even Turkish President Abdullah Gul bypassed the ban to state his disapproval of the government's actions.

Both the EU and the U.S. have condemned the ban, saying it restricted freedom of speech.

"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," Stefan Fule, the European Union's commissioner for enlargement said in a statement. "Citizens must be free to communicate and choose freely the means to do it. This obviously includes access to the internet."

The country's block on the video service YouTube remains in place.


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