The Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled that
a block on access to YouTube imposed by Prime Minister Tayyip
Erdogan's government was a violation of rights, but nearly 24
hours after the ruling was announced the video-sharing site
remained inaccessible to most Turks.
The court said on Thursday that it has not yet written its full
report on the issue and a source at BTK told Reuters on Friday
it was not clear when the decision would arrive.
This is the second time that the Constitutional Court has
overturned a media ban imposed by the government. Last month it
ordered Twitter unblocked after the authorities shut down access
in the run up to local elections.
Blocks were imposed after audio recordings purportedly revealing
corruption in Erdogan's inner circle were leaked and widely
circulated on the sites.
U.S. Ambassador Francis Ricciardone welcomed the Constitutional
Court's decision, saying it was a boost freedom of expression in
Turkey, which has been widely criticised by the West over the
government's moves to silence critics.
"We are not judges of Turkey, but anything that increases
freedom of expression, strengthens the freedom of expression is
a good thing," Ricciardone told reporters.
Turkish authorities have so far defied orders from lesser courts
to lift the YouTube ban, saying some offending content had not
been removed from the site.
Erdogan has publicly criticised the Constitutional Court for
acting against national interests, repeatedly calling for the
ban on Twitter to be re-instated.
(Reporting by Ozge Ozbilgin, Writing by Ece Toksabay. Editing by
Jonny Hogg/Jeremy Gaunt)
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