Turkish court reverses government’s ban on YouTube

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.