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Turkey Bans YouTube

by AFP
Ozan Kose—AFP

Ozan Kose—AFP

Video-sharing site blocked a week after Prime Minister Erdogan’s government banned Twitter.

Turkey banned video-sharing website YouTube on Thursday, having blocked Twitter a week earlier after both were used to spread audio recordings damaging to the government, local media reported.

The move came hours after the release of an audio file on YouTube, purporting to be of a security meeting in which top government, military and spy officials discuss a possible scenario for military action inside Syria.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government informed mobile phone operators and internet service providers of its decision to block YouTube, the Hurriyet newspaper reported on its website.

The move came a day after a court ordered a suspension of the Twitter ban.

The foreign ministry slammed the latest leak as a “vile attack” and “espionage” against the country’s national security. It added that it was a “natural practice” by the state to discuss how to protect Turkish property from “terrorist elements” but added that some part of the conversation had been “distorted.”

Erdogan on Thursday slammed political opponents for leaking the audiotape on YouTube. “They have leaked something on YouTube today,” he told a campaign rally ahead of crucial local elections Sunday, following the latest in a series of damaging social media leaks. “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?”

Erdogan, whose party faces key local elections Sunday, has been dogged by a string of leaks, including apparent wire taps suggesting a major corruption scandal, which have gone viral on Twitter and other social media.

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