Turkish court orders YouTube ban

08 Mar 2007

(Associated Press via NewsEdge) A Turkish court has ordered access to YouTube's Web site blocked because of videos allegedly insulting the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Paul Doany, head of Turk Telekom, Turkey's largest telecommunications provider, said his company had immediately begun enforcing the ban.

'We are not in the position of saying that what YouTube did was an insult, that it was right or wrong,' Doany said, in remarks to the state-run Anatolia news agency. 'A court decision was proposed to us, and we are doing what that court decision says.'

Visitors to the YouTube site from Turkey were greeted with the message: 'Access to this site has been blocked by a court decision!'

The vast majority of Turkish Internet users use Turk Telekom, a state-run monopoly until it was privatized in 2005.

A message in both Turkish and English at the bottom of the page said, 'Access to http://www.youtube.com site has been suspended in accordance with decision no: 2007/384 dated 06.03.2007 of Istanbul First Criminal Peace Court.'

The court, acting on a petition from Turk Telekom, ruled later that it would revoke the ban as soon as it ascertained that the offending videos had been removed from YouTube. YouTube is owned by Internet search engine giant Google.

Earlier, Doany said Turk Telekom would allow access to the popular video sharing site again if the court decision were rescinded. Access from Turkey might be possible through other service providers, he said.

Over the past week, Turkish media publicized what some called a 'virtual war' between Greeks and Turks on YouTube, with people from both sides posting videos to belittle and berate the other.

© 2007 The Associated Press

© 2007 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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