News / Europe

Turkey Deputy PM: Court Ruling to Halt Twitter Ban Should be Respected

A board shows the alternative ways to access Twitter, is placed at an election campaign office of the main opposition Republican's People's Party (CHP) in Istanbul, March 25, 2014.
A board shows the alternative ways to access Twitter, is placed at an election campaign office of the main opposition Republican's People's Party (CHP) in Istanbul, March 25, 2014.
Reuters
A Turkish court upheld an appeal on Wednesday to end a blockage of Twitter that has provoked public outrage and drawn international condemnation only days ahead of the critical local elections.
 
But it was not immediately clear if or when the bar would be removed, although Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc urged the Turkey's telecoms authority, which carried out the ban, to respect the court order.
 
“We abide by the court rulings, that's what the constitution orders. We may not like them, but we abide by them. If this decision is genuine... then what TIB needs to do after this is obvious,” Arinc told reporters in Hatay in televised comments.
 
Turkey's telecoms authority (TIB) blocked access to Twitter on Friday as Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan battles a corruption scandal, in which a stream of anonymous postings purportedly revealing government wrongdoing have been posted on the platform.
 
Turkey's Bar Association challenged the blockage, saying it was without legal grounds and “an arbitrary decision”.
 
An Ankara court on Wednesday found in favor of the association's request and ruled that TIB halt its block on the site.
 
Erdogan on Tuesday accused Twitter of “threatening national security” and has repeatedly defended the ban during rallies in the run up to a municipal election on Sunday that is seen as a test of whether he has been damaged by the allegations.
 
Erdogan has cast the audio postings on Twitter as part of a plot to unseat him, contrived by followers of his former ally, the U.S. based Islamist cleric Fetullah Gulen.
 
Reuters has not been able to verify the authenticity of the leaked recordings.
 
“Our problem is not Twitter itself but its approach ... The court ruling was conveyed to Twitter. It does not listen to it,” Erdogan said in a TV interview late on Tuesday about the original decision to block access.
 
“You are threatening the national security of my country,” he said in a strained voiced after weeks of campaigning.
 
Telecoms regulators have said their blockage was based on four court orders and was imposed after complaints from citizens that Twitter was violating privacy.
 
The ban has met widespread criticism both at home and abroad, with opposition politicians condemning it, and the U.S. State Department likening it to “21st Century book burning”.
 
But many in Turkey have been able to get around the ban, either by using virtual private network (VPN) software or changing their Domain Name System (DNS) setting, effectively disguising their computers' geographical whereabouts.
 
Legal experts say TIB reserves the right to challenge the Ankara court's decision.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More