UPDATE: Turkey’s Twitter ban ruled a violation of freedom of expression rights

03 April 2014 | Sophie Donoghue


Turkey’s constitutional court has ruled that the government’s ban on social-media website Twitter violates freedom of expression and individual rights.

The Telecommunications Presidency (TIB) blocked access to Twitter on March 21, following the anonymous posting of a series of audio recordings which suggested corruption inside the Turkish government.

It is unclear if the government – led by prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan – will adhere to the court ruling and overthrow the ban, after Erdogan said he would “root out” the network.

The ban has caused uproar among its citizens and across international markets, with the US State Department calling on the government to lift the ban on Twitter.

"We think it [the ban] needs to end, and if there has been a court decision, we think it needs to be implemented quickly, as quickly as possible," said Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson at the US State Department.

A week after banning Twitter, the government also shut down social media network YouTube, after a recording of a high-level security meeting discussing war plans against neighbouring Syria appeared on it.

Turkey’s president Abdullah Gul has openly opposed both bans.

"The bans on Twitter and YouTube now need to be lifted. I've expressed this to the minister and to the authorities," Gul said, according to local reports.

Despite the ban, tech-savvy Turks have reportedly found ways to access the social media site, and internet analysts claim there has been a surge in tweets from the country since it was imposed.

UPDATE (April 3, 1547 BST): Capacity has just learned that Turkey is set to lift the ban following a court ruling that stated that the ban is unconstitutional.