Turkey welcomes back Twitter

The ban has officially been lifted, a Turkish government official confirms to Reuters.

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Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET
Twitter is no longer persona non grata in Turkey, at least for the moment.

An official from the office of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan confirmed to Reuters on Thursday that the "ban has been lifted." The move follows a ruling on Wednesday from Turkey's constitutional court that called the two-week-old ban a violation of free speech and individual rights.

Does this mean the Twitter tap has been fully turned back on? Not just yet.

Some Turkish citizens said they still can't reach the site, according to Reuters. Full coverage throughout the entire country is likely to be an ongoing process since Turkey's telecommunications authority (TIB) needs to inform all Internet providers to restore access. That process could take several hours, Reuters added.

The Turkish government took Twitter offline for the country's 76 million citizens on March 20 following actions by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. An unabashed critic of social networks, Erdogan threatened to "wipe out" the site in the wake of a political corruption scandal that has embarrassed the government through news, videos, and images posted on the microblogging site.

Those opposing the ban included political opposition leaders; the US and European Union governments; Twitter; and the country's constitutional court.

One week after the Twitter ban was put in place, the government also blocked YouTube. Apparently, Turkish officials banned the video site because Google reportedly ignored requests from the government to remove YouTube videos that cast the prime minister in a critical light.

Erdogan has been under intense political pressure in recent weeks after recordings surfaced that purportedly were conversations between himself and his son, during which the two allegedly discussed how to hide large amounts of money. Erdogan has said the recordings are fake and has vowed to take legal action against the "vile attack."

 

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