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Turkish court orders reverse of YouTube ban

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Ruling says last week's nationwide block violates human rights

A local court has ruled that Turkey's nationwide ban of YouTube must be lifted. The decision comes after a ruling last week said the nation's block of Twitter was illegal and should be reversed — a decision that was cited in today's ruling. The Turkish telecoms authority must now reverse the block, although the court did rule that 15 videos on the site will remain off limits.

The origin of the Turkish authorities' sudden distain for Twitter and YouTube revolves around a leaked recording that surfaced on the video-sharing website and spread via social networks. The recording implicates Turkey's prime minister, Recep Erdoğan, and those in his inner circle, in a corruption scandal, and also purport to show him telling his son to get rid of a large amount of money. Erdoğan claims the recording was faked by those conspiring against him, and has done his best to stamp out access to them.

Since the original recordings were exposed, a steady stream of material has leaked online, including one showing a high-level security meeting regarding Syria, which surfaced the day YouTube was blocked. Although Erdoğan is unlikely to agree with the court's decision, he has very little choice but to comply.