Less than a week after a notorious ban on Twitter went into effect, the Turkish government blocked access to YouTube on March 27. The ban was ordered hours after leaked recordings of a key security meeting were published on the video sharing website.
Turkey’s Telecommunication Directorate (TİB) has used its new authority for the first time by blocking Youtube without a court order.
“After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651, ADMINISTRATION MEASURE has been taken for this website (Youtube.com) according to Decision Nr. 490.05.01.2014.-48125 dated 27/03/2014 of Telekomünikasyon İletişim Başkanlığı,” the notice on TİB’s website reads.
The parliament had passed Feb. 6 a much-debated Internet bill, amid concerns raised by the European Union as well as local NGOs and opposition parties. “The regulation that has been approved by the General Assembly is giving unseen authorities to the TİB,” the Turkish Journalists Association criticized the Law Nr. 5651, which TİB based its decision on in today’s YouTube blocking.
Even before the fresh leaks, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had given the signal that the Twitter ban could be extended to YouTube and Facebook.
The ban on Twitter was halted by an administrative court ruling on March 26. TİB has to unblock Twitter in 30 days, according to Turkish laws.
This article first appeared on Hurriyet Daily News