Turkey Blocks YouTube, Having Grudgingly Reinstated Twitter After A Court Ruling
Well, we've got good news and bad news. After Turkey's ban on Twitter backfired, a court ruled that the government wasn't allowed to ban Twitter. Bad news: YouTube has been blocked in Turkey instead, three days before local elections. On Wednesday, an anonymous YouTube account released an audio recording in which Turkey's intelligence chief apparently discussed top-secret information about military operations in Syria.
While Reuters clarified that it couldn't verify the authenticity of the recording, the audio has caused huge political damage. Quickly, and a little predictably, YouTube was blocked by Turkey's telecommunications authority, TIB. According to Turkish state media, the TIB released a statement: "After technical analysis and legal consideration.... an administrative measure has been taken for this website."
At a rally Thursday, Turkey Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan spoke about the audio leak, and seemed to confirm it was real. According to the BBC, Erdogan said:
They even leaked a national security meeting. This is villainous, this is dishonesty... Who are you serving by doing audio surveillance of such an important meeting?
In the meantime, Google, which owns YouTube, has said that it's investigating the reports of Turkey blocking the website.
Correspondents and citizens in Turkey have confirmed the YouTube block through none other than Twitter, ironically enough. Here's how YouTube looks like in Turkey, according to a Tweet by Times of London Turkey correspondent Alex Christie-Miller.
Some Tweets also provide information on how to bypass the block and access YouTube in the country, much like what happened when Turkey blocked Twitter.
The YouTube block comes three weeks after Erdogan threatened to block YouTube and Facebook. Local elections will be held March 30, and Erdogan's political clout had been undermined by Twitter audio recordings which allegedly revealed Erdogan and his son planning corruption.