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Turkish court reverses government's ban on YouTube

Turkey's highest court rules that the government's ban on YouTube violates the freedom of expression

Turkey's highest court on Thursday ruled that the country's ban on YouTube is a violation of freedom of expression — a setback for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had advocated shutting down the video-sharing website.

The Constitutional Court ruled that blocking access to YouTube amounted to a violation of constitutional rights. The court said it would notify telecommunications authorities of its decision that access be restored, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

The restrictions on YouTube were imposed in late March after an audio recording of a government security meeting was leaked. In the recording, senior officials appeared to be discussing a possible military intervention in Syria.

Early last month, the high court ordered Turkish authorities to stop blocking access to the micro-blogging site Twitter. The moves by authorities to block the social networks have provoked widespread criticism by Western governments and human-rights organizations.

Following the high court ruling on Twitter, Erdogan said his government did not respect the decision but would comply with it.

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