02 July 2010

TR - Turkey goes into battle with Google

A ban on YouTube was imposed by a court in Ankara on 5 May 2008, after a series of 17 temporary bans the preceding year. The grounds by the courts given each time varied, but they followed a number of complaints from Turkish citizens about videos on YouTube deemed insulting to Kemal Ataturk, the country's revered first president. In 2007 the government passed a sweeping law regulating the internet, known as Law No 5651. It allows a court to block any website where there is "sufficient suspicion" that a crime has occurred. The eight crimes listed include child pornography, gambling, prostitution, and "crimes against Ataturk". Insulting or denigrating Ataturk was already a crime. The Turkish government refuses to publish statistics, but campaigners for internet freedom estimate that more than 4,000 websites are currently blocked, making internet censorship in Turkey amongst the heaviest in the world.