Friday

15th Dec 2017

Turkey moves to block YouTube

  • Turkey's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces allegations of corruption (Photo: Fortum Sverige)

After having denied Turkey's 12 million Twitter users access to the micro-blogging site, Turkish authorities on Thursday (27 March) moved to block YouTube.

The YouTube block, according to Turkey’s national telecommunications authority, was needed as a “precautionary administrative measure” hours after a government recording on possible Syria military operations was leaked onto the social media site.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

EU digital affairs commissioner Neelie Kroes condemned the move via twitter.

“This is another desperate and depressing move in Turkey,” she tweeted.

“I express my support for all those supporters of real freedom and democracy. We in Europe stand for an open internet and free expression on it," she added.

Some users are still able to access the video-sharing site through anonymous connections to the web via so-called “virtual private networks”.

For its part, Turkey’s ministry of foreign affairs described the YouTube leak as “a despicable attack, an act of espionage and a very serious crime against the national security of Turkey”.

The ministry, in a statement published on its website, vowed to seek out those behind the leak and sentence them “with the heaviest penalty they deserve by law".

Before the Twitter and YouTube ban, the country already ranked 154 among 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index.

In an op-ed published in The Guardian newspaper, dozens of writers and poets from around the world, said colleagues in Turkey face criminal proceedings and imprisonment under its harsh anti-terror law.

Turkey’s penal code includes articles on defamation, religious defamation, obscenity, insulting the Turkish people, state or its organs, and promoting conscientious objection to military service.

Despite the threats and crackdown, allegations of corruption persist since police arrested sons of three cabinet ministers and at least 34 others in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s inner circle last December.

The police operation was part of a larger corruption investigation, which also probed Erdogan’s son and closest business partners.

Erdogan’s response was harsh.

He purged thousands of police, judges, government officials, and prosecutors to remove what he described as a conspiracy to supplant his rule.

Turkey’s parliament, dominated by Erdogan’s AKP party, also introduced two controversial laws earlier in the year.

The first law undermines the independence of the supreme court by bringing it under the executive branch.

The second allows the government-run telecommunications regulator to block websites without a court order.

Erdogan’s slide towards silencing dissent is seen by pro-rights group as an attempt to muffle criticism over the high-level corruption allegations ahead of local elections on Sunday.

Hours before the Twitter shutdown on 20 March, the prime minister declared he wanted to “root out Twitter, no matter what the international community thought”.

A court in Ankara on Wednesday ordered the regulator to lift the Twitter ban.

Two EU states break ranks on Jerusalem

Hungary and the Czech Republic have broken EU ranks on US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital despite warnings it could bring back 'darker times'.

Feature

Lebanon crisis overshadows EU aid for Syrian refugees

Lebanon hosts over one million Syrian refugees, and has received some €1bn in EU funds. Caught in a geo-political tug of war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Lebanon's domestic politics have cast a longer shadow over its Syrian 'guests'.

EU complicit in Libyan torture, says Amnesty

The EU and its members states have signed up to 'Faustian pact' with Libyan authorities in the their effort to prevent migrant and refugee boat departures towards Italy, says Amnesty International.

News in Brief

  1. Juncker: May made 'big efforts' on Brexit
  2. Merkel took 'tough' line on Russia at EU summit
  3. EU leaders added line supporting 'two-state' solution
  4. EU leaders agree to 20 European Universities by 2024
  5. Belgian courts end legal proceedings against Puigdemont
  6. French central bank lifts 2017 growth forecast
  7. EU leaders set to move Brexit talks on to next stage
  8. EU leaders confirm support for two-state solution

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue PlatformThe Gülen Community: Who to Believe - Politicians or Actions?" by Thomas Michel
  2. Plastics Recyclers Europe65% plastics recycling rate attainable by 2025 new study shows
  3. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  4. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  5. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  6. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  10. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  12. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties

Latest News

  1. Dutchman to lead powerful euro working group
  2. EU mulls post-Brexit balance of euro and non-eurozone states
  3. EU asylum debate reopens old wounds
  4. Estonia completes two out of three priority digital bills
  5. EU countries are not 'tax havens', parliament says
  6. Tech firms' delays mean EU needs rules for online terror
  7. Slovak PM: Human rights are not a travel pass to EU
  8. British PM limps to EU capital after Brexit defeat