In a statement, Reporters Without Borders condemned the fact that 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, May 6, as a result of three orders issued by Ankara magistrate courts without any specific reason.
“The blocking of YouTube has gone on long enough,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We urge the Turkish authorities to amend their legislation regulating internet use instead of arbitrarily censoring content. Such behavior is unworthy of a country that claims to be democratic and makes us very concerned for the future of the internet in Turkey. We call for the revision of the three court orders that led to this unwarranted blocking.”
Pointing out that access to the websites Dailymotion, Myspace, and Geocities has also been banned in Turkey, the head of Turkey’s Association of Internet Technologies (INED), Mustafa Akgul, said, “We need to get away from this instinctive tendency to censor, which threatens the internet as a space for expression.”
Akgul added: “In response to complaints about insults or copyright violations or other matters, a court anywhere in Turkey can suspend access to a website as a preventive measure, without referring to an expert and without giving the website a chance to defend itself… An internet filtering mechanism could be established, but the state should leave this to the country’s citizens. Members of civil society can have a place in this process.”