In tweet, Turkey's president condemns YouTube ban

ANKARA Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:42pm EDT

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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's President Abdullah Gul has used his Twitter page to condemn his country's ban on YouTube and some Google services.

"I know there are lots of complaints about bans on YouTube and Google," Gul said in a tweet posted on June 10.

"I am definitely against them being closed down. I have ordered responsible institutions for a solution. I asked for a change in regulations on merit."

Human rights groups and media watchdog associations have long urged Turkey, a European Union candidate, to reform its restrictive Internet laws.

In January, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said Turkey was blocking some 3,700 Internet sites for "arbitrary and political reasons."

Access to the popular video-sharing site YouTube has been banned by the Turkish government since 2008 after users posted videos in which they said Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, was an alcoholic and a homosexual.

Earlier this month, Turkey's Telecommunications Board said it blocked access to Google sites "because of legal reasons."

Turkey has cited offences including child pornography, insulting Ataturk and encouraging suicide for blocking websites.

The role of president in Turkey is largely ceremonial, decisions are taken by the prime minister and cabinet.

(Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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Comments (2)
AllahMerciful wrote:
Turkish government had no options – they HAD to ban YouTube, otherwise their citizens angry at Israeli murder of “peaceful humanitarian activists” would see what really happened on that ship and might get angry at the Turkish government instead. If you can’t handle the truth – make sure it does not reach your eyes and your ears!

Jun 11, 2010 4:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
leche wrote:
Maybe you should read the article again. The site had been banned since 2008, and is not related to the unfortunate events you have mentioned. And i mean unfortunate for anyone. On or off the ship or the boat or the helicopter. And still it is unfortunate that the sites are banned not only in Turkey but some other countries as well. So unmature behaviour for any country. So what if you ban the sites to be accessed from your country, the rest of the world don’t see it ? Those countries are the naked kings. Well, more like a clown.

Jun 12, 2010 4:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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