After two years of blocking YouTube within its borders, users-based in Turkey can now visit and watch videos on the site again.
The ban was enforced back in 2008 after videos that insulted Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey’s founder, or “Turkishness” were posted on YouTube. The video in question was allegedly posted by Greeks and dubbed “Ataturk and Turks homosexuals,” reports the BBC.
Transport Minister Binali Yildirim, who is in charge of internet issues, spoke on Turkish television said that the ban was removed after “common sense prevailed”.
He went on to say:
But we didn’t get here easily – we have been through a lot in the process.
I hope that they have also learned from this experience and the same thing will not happen again. YouTube will hopefully carry out its operations in Turkey within the limits of law in the future.
However, it was not YouTube which removed the offending videos as it clarified through a released statement:
We want to be clear that a third party, not YouTube, have apparently removed some of the videos that have caused the blocking of YouTube in Turkey using our automated copyright complaint process,” it explained.
We are investigating whether this action is valid in accordance with our copyright policy.
Turkish laws allow courts to block websites it deems offensive to its culture and religion. Some international organizations say that because of this, internet censorship in Turkey is one of the worst in the world.
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