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Update: Twitter claims court victory but the ban remains

Update: Turkey’s ban on Twitter is about to be revoked by a judgment of the Constitutional Court, which ruled that the ban violated freedom of expression. Yesterday, the Constitutional Court ruled unanimously that the ban was a violation of freedom of expression guaranteed by Article 26 of the Constitution.

An application to open the site was made on Wednesday by Sezgin Tanrikulu, deputy chairman of the main opposition party CHP. Though at first today TIB made efforts to make the site available to the public again.

TIB blocked access to Twitter on March 20, just 10 days before the local elections. Hours before the ban, Prime Minister Erdogan promised to shut down the social media platform.

Ahead of local elections, many phone calls apparently leaked by government officials, who participated in alleged corruption, and they were uploaded on YouTube and shared on Twitter.

All Turkish citizens are expected to regain access to Twitter after TIB’s final decision to unblock the social media platform.

Previously published:

Twitter has won a court order to terminate a ban against one of its accounts showing a tweet that accuses a former minister for corruption.

Istanbul criminal court emphasized the factor of general interest to the governance and has reportedly said: “Government institutions should refrain from actions and proceedings that may limit an individual’s freedom of thought and expression.”

The social media site agreed to remove two of the three accounts, which they said violated their own terms, but fought the government in court to keep the third account visible to users in Turkey.

Speaking from San Francisco on Friday, said Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s general counsel, that there was an “exceptionally strong victory for freedom of speech” and that the account had been blocked only in Turkey would be reinstated at once.

In a blog post, she writes that the decision will “be of the most value to us to protect users against Twitter’s other attempts at censorship in the future.”

However, this judgment does not affect the ban on Twitter in Turkey, a Turkish court overturned. The court said that freedom of expression was enshrined in the Constitution.

“We will continue to fight to get the ban lifted on behalf of the millions of people in Turkey who have come to rely on Twitter as an important communication tool,” wrote Gadde.

On Thursday, also Youtube was a subject of ban in Turkey by the government. The site published a recording of Turkish officials in a very sensitive conversation about what action to take in Syria.

President Gül yesterday condemned the leak, saying that those responsible for the interception has committed an “act of espionage” and be cleared away and shown “no tolerance”.

About Sophia Söderholm 2588 Articles
At the age of ten Sophia moved from Sweden in 1998 and has since lived in several locations around the world including Spain, and has been residing in North Cyprus for four years now. Her educational background is in marketing, hotel management and real estate, and she now works as a real estate agent and is editor in chief for New Cyprus Magazine. If you any questions for Sophia, please write to: sophia@newcyprusmagazine.com.