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Turkey lifts YouTube ban



Istanbul, June 4 (IANS) Turkey’s government Tuesday lifted its ban on YouTube following last week’s verdict by the country’s apex court which said the ban violates the basic right of freedom of speech.

The announcement was made by the telecommunications directorate, which had blocked access to YouTube earlier in March after a leaked voice recording of a high-level security meeting on Syria on the website, according to Xinhua.

In the voice recording, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, National Intelligence Organisation Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu and Deputy Chief of General Staff General Yasar Guler were heard discussing possible intervention into Syria.

Turkey also blocked access to Twitter in March due to alleged violation of personal rights and privacy.

The ban of Twitter and Youtube came within a month after audio recordings on some social media exposed alleged government corruption.

Although Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denied the authenticity of the recordings, he warned that he would take further steps to monitor the internet, including the closure of some social networks.

Over the past two years, Turkey has been plagued with a series of corruption scandals and witnessed mass protests against government officials, prompting Erdogan’s administration to take drastic measures to protect the government’s image.

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