Top court to Turkish PM: Sorry, but you can’t block YouTube, either

posted at 7:01 pm on May 31, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan — a man who, not too long ago, deemed social media sites “the worst menace to society,” probably because demonstrators were using them to organize and rally against his rule — banned Twitter and then YouTube from the country’s interwebz last March after some rather incriminating audio recordings revealing corruption inside his government were circulated on the sites. Although a lot of tech-savvy Turks found ways to get around bans, the principle of the matter had a lot of opposition crying foul about Erdogan’s growing authoritarianism, and in April, Turkey’s top Constitutional Court invalidated the ban against Twitter as a violation of freedom of expression.

This week, the court ruled that the same goes for YouTube, via the WSJ:

Turkey’s top court on Thursday ruled that a ban on YouTube is unconstitutional, paving the way to lift the two-month blockade, after the government cut off access to Google Inc.’s video-sharing website for publishing leaked state secrets just days before critical March elections.

The Constitutional Court in Ankara sided 14-to-2 with individual appeals filed by Google’s local attorney, opposition lawmakers and the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, ruling that YouTube’s blockade breached freedom of expression, according to a brief decision published on its website. …

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government so far has refused to implement lower court decisions against the website’s blockade. Access to YouTube was still barred late on Thursday.

The YouTube decision is poised to thrust the Constitutional Court back into the center of Turkey’s increasingly polarized politics, right before August presidential elections. Mr. Erdogan, who is expected to run for and win the presidency, slammed the judges for removing a similar ban on Twitter Inc. in early April, saying his government will abide by the decision but doesn’t respect it.

How nice. Despite the number of complaints about his increasingly autocratic attitude, Erdogan still has a solid grip on power in Turkey — and if he does move over from prime minister to president this August, the power to appoint judges to the Constitutional Court will be his. I.e., the further lockdown on a free and open Internet in Turkey might not be so very far away after all.


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He’s just not looking at it correctly. You never know when you might need something to pull of YouTube to blame for some crushing bit of incompetency. Check with Obama and Hillary, they’ll show you how it’s done.

Cindy Munford on May 31, 2014 at 7:17 PM

I don’t suppose he pays any more attention to the law than our “government” does.

crankyoldlady on May 31, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Obama names Turkey’s Erdoğan among top five international friends

I got news for you Obungle. Nobody else wants to be your friend.

crankyoldlady on May 31, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Erdogan should show the court Pewdiepie and iJustine. He could win that censorship yet!

Gingotts on May 31, 2014 at 7:30 PM

I got news for you Obungle. Nobody else wants to be your friend.

crankyoldlady on May 31, 2014 at 7:23 PM

i do!

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 31, 2014 at 7:34 PM

I got news for you Obungle. Nobody else wants to be your friend.

crankyoldlady on May 31, 2014 at 7:23 PM

i do!

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 31, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Too bad Barack Obama would never want you as a friend. You simply aren’t important and intelligent enough for him.

Resist We Much on May 31, 2014 at 7:38 PM

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 31, 2014 at 7:34 PM

That’s just pitiful.

Cindy Munford on May 31, 2014 at 7:44 PM

I got news for you Obungle. Nobody else wants to be your friend.

crankyoldlady on May 31, 2014 at 7:23 PM

i do!

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 31, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Fishing with sticks of dynamite……..

VegasRick on May 31, 2014 at 8:01 PM

Sorry, Koch. His ass already glistens with your saliva. To become His Friend you must do more. Much more.

spiritof61 on May 31, 2014 at 8:04 PM

Couldn’t Barry have ruled on this to avoid troubling the Turkish courts? Besides, it would have given him practice for some upcoming interweb decrees here in the states.

Xavier on May 31, 2014 at 8:23 PM

if he does move over from prime minister to president this August, the power to appoint judges to the Constitutional Court will be his. I.e., the further lockdown on a free and open Internet in Turkey might not be so very far away after all.

FDR taught the world so many great things.

Grammar Nazi on May 31, 2014 at 8:49 PM

FDR taught the world so many great things.

Grammar Nazi on May 31, 2014 at 8:49 PM

Plus a bit of modern day Putinism. Wonder what wooden puppet will play the role of his Medvedev? Joe Biden will be available in 2017…

Gingotts on May 31, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Erdogan desperately wants to take his country back to the 7th century, with Iran. He can’t quite say it yet.

virgo on June 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan — a man who, not too long ago, deemed social media sites “the worst menace to society,”

Facebook is known to enable stalkers. Twitter is home to dumbed-down conversations. Youtube hosts the last testaments of mass killers. He might be on to something.

Stoic Patriot on June 1, 2014 at 6:26 AM

Facebook is known to enable stalkers. Twitter is home to dumbed-down conversations. Youtube hosts the last testaments of mass killers. He might be on to something.

Stoic Patriot on June 1, 2014 at 6:26 AM

While I agree in spirit, it will take far more than that for me to side with the leader of a country censoring them for the entire populace. Banning electronic tools that are being sometimes used by Chaotic elements in the name of Law is a very dicey path.

LawfulGood on June 1, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Obama names Turkey’s Erdoğan among top five international friends

Of course.

Resist We Much on May 31, 2014 at 7:06 PM

Of course Barack H. is hoping to become Calif when the new caliphate comes into being shortly after the 2016 elections. President Clinton will attend the coronation ceremonies wearing her ceremonial burqa.

Annar on June 1, 2014 at 12:15 PM