Authorities imposed the ban on Google's video-sharing site on
March 27 in the build-up to local elections, after weeks of leaked
wiretaps which had emerged online, allegedly uncovering corruption
in Erdogan's inner circle. Erdogan emerged from the polls with his
popularity largely intact.
Turkey's telecoms regulator said on Thursday it would not end a
block on YouTube, despite court rulings lifting the ban.
"The measure blocking access to the youtube.com internet site
remains in place," the Information and Communications Technologies
Authority (BTK) said in a statement on its website.
Access to Twitter had also been barred until the Constitutional
Court ruled last week that this violated the law.
Erdogan accuses a U.S.-based Islamic cleric of using a network of
supporters to orchestrate an internet campaign and a police
corruption investigation to undermine him. The cleric, Fethullah
Gulen, denies any involvement and criticizes Erdogan over a purge of
his followers from state bodies.
Last Friday a lower court in Ankara ruled that the YouTube ban
violated human rights and ordered most of the restrictions be
lifted, citing the constitutional court ruling, and instead
specifically blocked access to 15 videos.
Despite a prosecutor's challenge to lifting the ban, imposed on
grounds of state security, a higher Ankara court also ruled on
Wednesday in favor of removing the general block on YouTube.
[to top of second column]
However, the BTK said that while some of the offending links had
been removed, access to others had only been blocked in Turkey and
they could be viewed abroad.
It said the ban would remain place "because some of the said content
continues to be available on the internet site."
The posting that triggered the ban was an illicit audio recording of
a meeting of top security officials at the Foreign Ministry over
possible military intervention in Syria. Erdogan condemned the
recording as an act of treason.
Erdogan, who has been battling the graft scandal swirling around his
government since a police investigation emerged in December, has
said the constitutional court decision on Twitter was wrong and
should be overturned.
(Writing by Daren Butler; editing by Jonny Hogg)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.