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Turkish court orders partial lifting of YouTube ban

The ruling paves the way for most of YouTube to come back online, but 15 specific videos will still be blocked, according to Reuters.


YouTube is back in Turkey's good graces, though not completely.

A Turkish court ruled Friday that a full ban of Google's popular video-sharing site, which had been blocked in Turkey for more than a week, is a violation of human rights, Reuters has reported. As such, the court has ordered that most of the restrictions against YouTube be lifted.

That doesn't mean all of YouTube is once again welcome. The court found fault with the broad implementation of the ban but ruled that 15 specific videos should still be blocked, according to a copy of the court document.

Reuters didn't say if the court document disclosed the names of the specific videos that would remain banned. But they're likely related to the reason the ban was applied in the first place.

An audio recording uploaded to YouTube allegedly revealed conversations between Turkish government and military officials over security issues in Syria. The audio reportedly detailed a recording of government officials trying to determine how to justify air strikes against Syria. Turkey's foreign minister said the recording was manipulated and called it a "first degree threat to national security," according to Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency.

YouTube isn't the only service faring better in Turkey. On Thursday, Turkey's constitutional court ordered an end to the two-week ban of Twitter, calling the block a violation of free speech and individual rights.

But one person not too thrilled with the lifting of the Twitter ban is Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In a statement related by Reuters on Friday, Erdogan told reporters at a news conference: "We complied with the ruling but I do not respect it. It should have been rejected on procedural grounds."

The Turkish government took down Twitter for the country's 76 million citizens on March 20 following actions by Erdogan. A fervent 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.

Recordings surfaced on Twitter that purportedly revealed conversations between the prime minister and his son, during which the two allegedly discussed how to hide large amounts of money. Erdogan said that the recordings are fake and vowed to take legal action against the "vile attack."