YouTube Banned In Turkey Second Time

January 22, 2008 0

Once again, YouTube is in the news for all the wrong reasons…

“Earlier this year, a Turkish court blocked access to YouTube because of videos allegedly insulting the country’s founder. Now, it has happened again…”

One of the world’s most popular video websites “YouTube” has been banned in Turkey for the second time because it allegedly insulted Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey, according to media reports Monday.

“A Turkish court has blocked access to Google’s popular video sharing Web site YouTube because the site offers clips allegedly insulting the country’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk,” the reports says.

On Friday, Turkish visitors attempting to visit YouTube are instead being greeted with a notice in English and Turkish saying: “Access to this web site has been suspended in accordance with decision no: 2008/55 of T.R. Ankara 12th Criminal Court of Peace.”

“Ataturk died almost 70 years ago after founding the modern Turkish state from the remains of the Ottoman Empire.” It is illegal in Turkey to insult the revered figure, whose portrait still hangs in nearly all government offices nearly 70 years after his death.

“According to Turkey’s legislation, insulting Mustafa Kemal Ataturk or “Turkishness” is an imprison-able offense.”

All said; this is the second time that YouTube has been banned in Turkey. Last year in March, YouTube faced a similar situation, when Turkey banned the access to video website because of clips that described Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as a homosexual. YouTube responded by removing the offending videos and Turkey lifted its ban two days later by order of an Istanbul court.

This time though, “It still remains unclear which video exactly is to blame, but some media sources say that a disrespectful video comparing Ataturk with a monkey is the one to blame for the ban.”

Associated Press reported that in September, a court in the eastern city of Sivas ordered a ban after saying video on the site insulted Ataturk, President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the army, but the ban was never implemented.

Meanwhile, Turkey is not the first country to ban YouTube. Last year the popular video sharing Web site was banned by the Thai government for hosting defaced images of their revered monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The ban was lifted not before four months later, when Google-owned YouTube agreed to block all videos deemed offensive to the Thai people.

In a similar vein, Youtube was also banned in Morocco (North Africa) for posting videos showing the kind of treatment meted out by Morocco to the people of Western Sahara, a territory that was taken over by Morocco in 1975.

“It is not clear how long the current ban would last. The state-run Anatolia said YouTube officials issued a statement saying the company hoped access would be re-established quickly.”

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