WTF? YouTube banned in Turkey?

This is the screen I received when I wanted to watch a YouTube video while at the airport in Istanbul!

And it appears that it has been blocked since March 2007 due to:

A court in Istanbul has issued an order denying access to the video-sharing website YouTube. The state owned Turk Telecom implemented the ban today after an escalating dispute between Greek and Turkish users of the site.

The court order was issued yesterday and most internet users logging onto the site in Turkey are met with a holding page with a Turkish message, which translates as: “Access to this site has been denied by court order ! …”.

Greek and Turkish YouTube users have been trading video insults over the past few months, attracting much coverage in the Turkish press. Greek videos reportedly accused the founding president of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, of homosexuality; a Turkish user responded by calling Greece the birthplace of homosexuality.

It is illegal to criticise either Ataturk or Turkishness in Turkey and the prosecutor’s office in Istanbul acted despite YouTube’s agreement to take down the offending videos.

Turkey wishes to join the EU in the next round of enlargement and has been criticised for its failure to safeguard freedom of expression. The country’s most famous author, Orhan Pamuk, faced up to three years in jail after being charged with “insulting Turkishness” after talking to a Swiss newspaper about Turkey’s human rights record. The case was dropped in January after international condemnation.

The Times • 7 March 2007

Now we know….


  1. Post

    Is it a coincidence that countries and peoples who habitually resort to banning/blocking/outcasting as a method of control are the most unprogressive in the world?

    And why are most either Muslim or 3rd World? Is there a connection somewhere between the ideology followed and the continued regression in their peoples’ freedoms of expression?

    I’m veering toward acceptance of this principle. That is. Progress is proportional to freedoms guaranteed and enjoyed.

  2. UB

    I shame on my county. That’s what the ban makes me feel.

    You may not believe, but now, not only Youtube but also, Google Code, Analytics, Docs, Translate and even Apis have been blocked!

  3. Jacklyn

    okay, I’m going to be vacationing for three months…without youtube. And I’m that kind of person who uses youtube everyday. I seriously shame my country. So what if it was an insult? Maybe people in Turkey want Youtube? The government just could’ve taken a count for people who wanted youtube. All you had to do was just ask!

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