Monday, March 12, 2007

BBC: Turkish court bans YouTube access

The ban was imposed after prosecutors told the court that clips insulting former Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had appeared on the site.

According to Turkish media, there has been a "virtual war" between Greek and Turkish users of the site, with both sides posting insulting videos.

The clip prompting the ban reportedly dubbed Ataturk and Turks homosexuals.

Insulting Ataturk, the founding father of modern Turkey, or "Turkishness" is an offence which can result in a prison sentence.


The European Union, which Turkey is hoping to join, has long called for an easing of Article 301 - the law which prevents insults to Turkish culture - arguing that the law places severe restrictions on free speech in Turkey.

About 50 writers in the country have been put on trial for allegedly contravening the rule, including Nobel prizewinner Orhan Pamuk, though most cases have eventually been dismissed by the judge.

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