Turkey's YouTube ban is 'crude attempt at government censorship'
‘Access to YouTube must be restored immediately’ - Andrew Gardner
The Turkish authorities’ move today to block access to YouTube ahead of elections in the country on Sunday - and soon after restrictions were placed on Twitter - smacks of a wider premeditated crackdown on freedom of expression, Amnesty International said in response.
According to media reports, Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs cited national security concerns when it sought an administrative order to block the video-sharing platform - allegedly to prevent further circulation of a taped recording of discussions between senior Turkish officials on Syria.
Amnesty International Turkey researcher Andrew Gardner said:
“Coming just days before Turkey goes to the polls and in the wake of Prime Minister Erdoğan’s strident criticism of YouTube, this is clearly nothing more than a crude attempt at government censorship that will only generate deeper distrust and frustration.
“Even if the Turkish authorities have legitimate concerns about some of the content that might appear, it is completely disproportionate to enforce a blanket YouTube ban in the entire country.
“Access to YouTube must be restored immediately and the authorities must stop blocking sites that expose abuses and provide a platform for dissenting views.”
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