Black Friday

Turkey bans YouTube

Douglas Crawford

Douglas Crawford

March 28, 2014

Last week an irate Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan banned Twitter following news of leaked tapes of an alleged phone call between him and his son implicating Erdoğan’s inner circle in corruption went viral on the popular social media platform.

Yesterday a leaked audio file, purporting to be of a top secret meeting in which high ranking government officials, military and spy staff discuss possible military action inside Syria, was posted to YouTube. Given that Erdoğan had even before this been mulling a ban on YouTube, it is no surprise that within hours all YouTube access was blocked in Turkey.

A furious Erdoğan slammed political opponents, who he blamed for the leak,

‘They have leaked something on YouTube today. It was a meeting on our national security … It is a vile, cowardly, immoral act. We will go into their caves. Who are you serving by eavesdropping?’

The foreign ministry defended the leaked conversation, saying that it was a ‘natural practice’ for the security services to discuss how best to protect Turkey from ‘terrorist elements’, while at the same backtracking somewhat and saying that some elements of the conversation had been ‘distorted’.

Ever since the Twitter ban tech savvy netizens in Turkey have flocked to VPN (and DNS server changes) to get around the restriction, and this trend is only likely to continue as Erdoğan gets more hard-line with criticism on the internet.

If you are in Turkey and need unrestricted access to the internet, then you may be interested to know CyberGhost are offering free accounts for Turkish users.

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