The government of Turkey has officially banned YouTube just a few days after Twitter met the same fate. The decision to block YouTube was a result of the presence of leaked voice recordings of senior government officials discussing a probable military mission in Syria. According to a source close to the government, the recordings could lead to national security issues, hence the immediate ban.
However, the source explained that Turkey was consulting the social media platform for a possible removal of the recordings before lifting the ban. It was also revealed that if YouTube does not agree to delete the viral content, the ban will go on as planned.
As Turkish citizens try to cope with the recent ban on Twitter, they will now have to learn how to live without YouTube. There are reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the man behind the ban on both social media sites and Facebook might also become the latest victim. The decision to ban Twitter was a result of a leaked conversation that allegedly involved the prime minster and some members of his inner circles. Apparently, they were discussing how they would gag the media, transfer some huge amounts of money to their accounts, among other allegations of corruptions. It is believed that one of the persons involved in the scandal was Erdogan’s son.
According to Google, the company that owns YouTube, it has been confirmed that most users in Turkey failed to access the site yesterday. Speaking to the press, a company spokesman admitted there was no technical problem on their side, which is a clear indication that the ban has been implemented. He also explained that the company is looking forward to solving the problem as soon as possible.
Ahead of the much-anticipated elections this Sunday, Mr Erdogan blamed his political opponents for leaking the controversial audio tape. He termed it as a “cowardly, immoral and vile act.”
Meanwhile, a court in Istanbul has accepted the petition filed against the government to reverse the decision to block Twitter. The micro-blogging platform had earlier announced its decision to challenge the ruling by the Turkish government. In a bid to justify the ban, the government announced that some of the leaked audio files were a violation of human privacy. Even though the Turkish president condemned the ban, nothing much has been done to overturn it.
Turkey also described the decision to ban Twitter as a temporary measure that will be reversed when the two parties reach an amicable agreement. Twitter was had been accused of failing to receive calls from the Turkish government, therefore providing no other choice for the Telecommunications Department.
The recent decision has already attracted sharp reaction from all corners of the world. According to sources in Turkey, most people are beginning to rise against the “dictatorial” kind of leadership portrayed by the sitting government. The current election gives the locals a good chance to wipe out the corrupt crop of leaders and replace them with fresh minds, says the source.
By Andrew Wandola