The Twitter ban that has been in effect since last Thursday in Turkey was overturned by a Turkish court yesterday.
The Anchor administrative court accepted Twitter’s argument that ‘there are no legal grounds for the blocking of our service in Turkey,’ and ordered the telecommunications regulator (TIB) to lift the restrictions. Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc has confirmed that TIB will obey the order, but reserved the right to appeal, and an anonymous government official observed that TIB still has 30 days before it is required to carry out the court decision.
In addition to this and on the same day, Twitter’s legal team filed a number of lawsuits challenging the ban,
‘So today, we filed petitions for lawsuits we have been working on together with our independent Turkish attorney over the last few days in various Turkish courts to challenge the access ban on Twitter, joining Turkish journalists and legal experts, Turkish citizens, and the international community in formally asking for the ban to be lifted,’ blogged Twitter counsel Vijaya Gadde.
Despite these fighting words however, Twitter has worked over the last week to mollify Erdoğan’s government, who are angry with Twitter after news of tapes which appeared to uncover high-level government corruption circulated widely on the popular social media platform.
Turkish Tweets this week have been flagged ‘Country withheld content’, which means that international users can view the Tweets, but not users in Turkey. Furthermore, although Twitter has refused to comply one of the three original court orders which led to the ban (an order to remove an account accusing a former minister of corruption), it has complied with the other two, claiming that the content violated its own rules.