Turkey blocks YouTube and Twitter

28/03/2014

Turkey has banned YouTube after the site was used to publish an ‘audio leak’ allegedly from a state security meeting that discussed possible military action in Syria.

The move comes a day after a court ordered the suspension of a ban on Twitter and comes as the country cracks down on digital media outlets.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who faces important local elections on Sunday, accuses social media of spreading misinformation and suggested earlier that bans could be applied to both YouTube and Facebook.

The YouTube recordings purport to show senior Turkish government, military and spy officials discussing plans to stage an armed clash in Syria or a missile attack that would serve as a pretext for a military response.

Erdogan - already ensnared in a corruption scandal and hit by a series of street protests ahead of crucial local elections on Sunday - angrily lashed out at his political opponents for leaking the recording.

'They have leaked something on YouTube today,' he told a campaign rally in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir.

'It was a meeting on our national security. It is a vile, cowardly, immoral act. We will go into their caves. Who are you serving by eavesdropping?'

The premier last week banned Twitter, sparking international condemnation, after the micro-blogging service was used to spread a spate of other audio files implicating Erdogan and his inner circle in corruption.

An Ankara court on Wednesday overturned that ruling as a limit on free speech.

Turkey's telecommunications regulator TIB has 30 days to appeal the decision, and Twitter has yet to be restored.

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