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Turkey Blocks Access to YouTube…Again

A Turkish court has blocked access to Google’s popular video sharing Web site YouTube because the site offers clips allegedly insulting the country’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Turkish visitors attempting to visit YouTube are instead being greeted with a notice in English and Turkish saying access to the site has been banned by the order of an Ankara court issued January 17.

Back in March, another Turkish court blocked access to YouTube for two days over similar complaints. In that instance, the block was lifted after YouTube removed the videos at the source of the complaint. There’s no word on how long the current ban may last, but if the past episode is any indicator, Google will move to have access re-established quickly.

Ataturk died almost 70 years ago after founding the modern Turkish state from the remains of the Ottoman Empire. It is still against Turkish law to insult him.

Turkey is not the only country which has blocked access to YouTube: last year, Thailand blocked access to the site for almost four months because of video clips that were deemed offensive to the Thai monarch, and in May Morocco blocked access to YouTube over videos that criticized Morocco’s treatment of west Saharan Africans.

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