Thursday, 7 May 2009

'Gay Ataturk': a year without YouTube for Turkey

Reporters Without Borders marks one year anniversary of blocking the access to YouTube in Turkey.
Reporters Without Borders condemns the fact the video-sharing website YouTube has been inaccessible in Turkey for the past 12 months. Access has not been restored since it was blocked exactly one year ago today as a result of three orders issued by Ankara magistrate courts without any specific reason being given.
UK based The Register provides further details:

"The clip believed to have originally sparked the YouTube controversy in 2007 was a parody news broadcast by Greek football fans taunting their Turkish rivals by declaring "Today's news; Kemal Ataturk was gay!"

Turkish law lets prosecutors seek a court-ordered shutdown of any website deemed liable to incite suicide, paedophilia, drug usage, obscenity, prostitution, or attacking the memory of the republic's founding father.

Critics note the law opens the door to many abuses — such as letting a couple soccer fans effectively shut down an entire country's access to the world's most popular video-sharing website.

After the offending video was taken down by Google and YouTube users, Turkish prosecutors objected to dozens of other videos allegedly insulting Ataturk or other Turkish sensibilities. The latest barring was the result of three Ankara magistrate court orders on the grounds that Google hadn't obtained a license from the Turkish authorities."

The Register then goes on by listing countries which have barred YouTube, mentioning Armenia too: "Turkey is just one of several countries to have barred YouTube, including China, Armenia, Morocco, Pakistan, Thailand, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Saudia Arabia, and Syria."

I have to clarify here that the Armenian authorities have blocked the access to YouTube, along with some other websites, for a short period of few days only during the declared state of emergency following last year falsified presidential election. Before that and since then there have been no other incidents of Internet censorship in Armenia.

1 comment:

Pawel said...

I had no idea You Tube is cut off in Turkey. Well many strange things happen there. Germany is now very sorry for the Holocaust, but Turkey still denies the Armenian slaughter.

This is really working against them in their efforts to join the EU.