Sunday, July 4, 2010

Turkish court upholds ban on YouTube

So, nothing new:

The Ankara court responsible for the YouTube ban has upheld its decision in an appeal brought forth by an association of technology experts, saying the appeal has no merit because the website has not altered its activities.

The Internet Technologies Association, or İNTED, submitted its appeal petition after the court decided to approve a request from the Press Crimes Department to block 44 proxy websites that provide access to YouTube by hiding users’ IP addresses. But when the Ankara 1st Criminal Court of Peace examined İNTED’s appeal petition, Judge Hayri Keskin rejected it and the dossier has since been sent to Ankara’s 13th Criminal Court for further examination.
“According to the additional decision made by our court, the website still continues to break the law, which makes the YouTube attorney and İNTED’s appeals groundless,” the 1st court said recently.

The court wants YouTube officials to remove “unlawful and inappropriate content” from global access although it is already inaccessible from within Turkey. İNTED, however, said fulfilling this requirement would breech jurisdiction limits “with purposes of establishing international law.”

The 1st court originally banned access to YouTube on May 5, 2008, on grounds that the website had broadcast videos including content defaming Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Turkish Republic. The block on the 44 proxies sites was requested after prosecutor Kürşat Kayral, working in the Press Crimes Department of the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office, inquired at the Telecommunication Transmission Directorate, or TİB, whether there were proxy websites that allowed access to banned websites possible. In their reply, TİB confirmed 44 new proxy servers served the purpose.

More than 60,000 pro-Atatürk videos on YouTube

İNTED’S appeal stated that banning access to YouTube punished all citizens. “There are over 60,000 pro-Atatürk videos on YouTube. How beneficial would it be to ban the many because of a contrary few? It is a miracle to have access to this handful of videos for someone who does not know their exact address,” the petition stated
The petition also noted that because the ban on the website had continued for two years, it constituted a serious limitation on freedoms of communication, freedoms of expression, freedoms of entertainment, freedoms of advertisement, freedoms of learning and freedoms of organization for those citizens who want to use YouTube.
“As citizens of Turkish Republic, we are punished without being guilty," the appeal stated. "Our rights to a fair trail are also limited and the ban seriously undermines Turkey’s prestige.”
The appeal said bans should be used for inappropriate or unlawful material only, likening the situation to shutting down an entire library because it contained a prohibited publication. “Shutting down YouTube is as odd as banning the printing press," the appeal noted. "That is why ECHR [the European Court of Human Rights] gave our case priority.”

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bottom line: Banning Youtube (and other sites) is easier and more expedient than abiding by the will of the Turkish people or maintaining Turkish prestige among other nations. This, sadly, is a valid example for European leaders who argue that Turkey doesn't share the same values as other European nations and so should not be a part of EU. The Turkish authorities appear to have little interest in the individual rights and freedoms of its people and are still much more interested in protecting the state, its illogical laws and blanket punishments as well as its inefficient methods of governance. What a shame, since I still believe that Turkey has a bright future. I just find it ironic that a progressive leader like Ataturk should be made an excuse to push Turkey backwards.

RE - RecycledFrockery said...

banning youtube won't change politics.

Internation Musing said...

@A: exactly!
@RF: but it will change the people their mind about politics...