Turkey lifts block on access to YouTube: official

ANKARA Tue Jun 3, 2014 9:54am EDT

YouTube logos displayed on a laptop screen partially covered with Turkey's national flag in this photo illustration taken in Ankara March 27, 2014.  REUTERS/Umit Bektas

YouTube logos displayed on a laptop screen partially covered with Turkey's national flag in this photo illustration taken in Ankara March 27, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Umit Bektas

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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's telecoms regulator removed an official order blocking access to YouTube (GOOGL.O) from its website on Tuesday after the country's top court ruled last week that the ban was a breach of human rights.

The video-sharing website will be accessible in Turkey later on Tuesday, an official at Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's office told Reuters. "As the Constitutional Court verdict was received today, YouTube will be open to access later today."

Blocks on access to YouTube and Twitter (TWTR.N) were imposed after illicit audio recordings, purportedly revealing corruption in Erdogan's inner circle, were leaked on the sites. The block on access to Twitter was lifted in April.

The ban on YouTube was imposed on March 27 in the build-up to local elections after a tape of top security officials discussing possible military intervention in Syria was leaked.

Erdogan condemned the tape recording, which followed a series of other leaked wiretaps, as an act of treason. He subsequently emerged from local elections on March 30 with his popularity largely intact.

Turkey's highest court, deliberating appeals submitted by individuals challenging the ban, last week ruled that the block was a violation of the right to freedom of speech.

(Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Daren Butler and Louise Ireland)

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