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Turkey’s constitutional court: Twitter ban violates free speech

Turkey’s constitutional court: Twitter ban violates free speech

April 2, 2014

The Twitter ban imposed by Turkeys government violates freedom of expression and individual rights, said the countrys Constitutional Court after a unanimous vote on Wednesday. The ban caused mass protests and public uproar.

The Court unanimously ruled the embargo is a violation of free speech guaranteed by Article 26 of the Constitution. According to the Hurriyet Daily, an order to lift the ban has been issued.

“If they don’t abide by the ruling, we will file a criminal complaint against the [countrys telecom authority] TIB by attaching the ruling of the Constitutional Court,” said Metin Feyzio lu, the president of Turkey’s Bar Associations, as cited by Hurriyet.

The decision is to be delivered to TIB and Turkey’s Transport, Maritime and Communication Ministry with the demand that they comply with the order.

The TIB blocked Twitter in Turkey on March 20, following Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogans threat to “root out” the social media network. Soon after YouTube was blocked as well while Google accused Turkish internet providers of mimicking their Domain Name System (DNS) service.

Wednesday ruling could be used as a precedent in similar cases in the future.

In February, Turkey passed a controversial law tightening control over the internet, allowing authorities to block websites without a court order within just hours.

The law followed the emergence in social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, of multiple recordings which sought to prove Erdogan and his ministers were trying to illegally influence political, business, and media affairs.

In one recording, the Turkish PM reportedly gave instructions to his son to hide millions of euros worth of cash in his house, while in another he blamed an editor of a major newspaper for negative coverage. Erdogan dismissed the recordings calling them fake, while threatening to shut down the social networks in Turkey.

Erdogans threats and the government ban were accompanied by mass protests against internet censorship. There were violent clashes as the police forces used tear gas and water cannon against the protesters. The scandal occurred ahead of nationwide elections, which resulted in the triumph of Prime Ministers ruling AKP party this week.

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Posted in Analysis & Review, Civil Rights and Privacy, Internet, Middle East, Prison Planet Articles.

Tagged with AKP, cash, Communication Ministry, Constitutional Court, Court, DNS, Domain Name, Domain Name System, Google, Hurriyet Daily, Metin Feyzio, Prime Minister, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogans, Prime Ministers, social media, TIB, Turkey.

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