Turkey Lifts Content-Related Ban on Social Media

World | April 7, 2015, Tuesday // 14:37|  views

A man attempts to access Youtube after an Istanbul court`s ban decision in Istanbul, Turkey 06 April 2015. EPA/BGNES

Turkey has lifted a ban on access to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube after social media websites complied with an Istanbul court’s order to remove images of a Turkish prosecutor taken hostage by leftist militants, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet said the court order on Monday blocked 166 websites which published the images, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. According to the court, the publication of any material related to last week’s hostage standoff was equivalent to abetting terrorism and inciting violence and hatred.

Facebook and Twitter said they would appeal the court ruling even though they complied with it.

Prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz and his two captors linked to the Marxist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party–Front (DHKP-C) were killed after a shootout at a courthouse in Istanbul a week ago.

The DHKP-C had released online pictures showing one of the militants holding a gun to the head of the prosecutor in his office. The pictures were published by several newspapers and websites.

Turkey's presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Monday that the bans were "to do with the publishing of the prosecutor's picture", which he described as unacceptable.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling AKP have been repeatedly drawn fire for using court orders to block critical websites. The country’s parliament last month approved legislation to tighten control over the Internet by allowing the government to block websites without prior judicial authorisation – a move that sparked criticism both at home and abroad.


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Tags: turkey, ban, Twitter, Facebook, youtube, Prosecutor, DHKP-C, hostage, Erdogan, AKP, court


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