Turkey PM bans Twitter, YouTube as 'tools of terrorist propaganda'

Refusal to remove hostage pics leads to yet another cut-off


Twitter and Google's YouTube faced another showdown with the Turkish government on Monday after court officials in the country temporarily blocked access to the micro-blabbing and video-sharing sites.

The latest ban was imposed on the US companies following the death of prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz, who was taken hostage and killed in Istanbul last Tuesday.

A photograph of Kiraz being held at gunpoint by a militant was re-posted across social media sites last week.

A court in Istanbul ruled that YouTube and Twitter should be banned because they had ignored requests to remove the pic, which was also published by a number of Turkish news outlets.

According to the New York Times and other reports, Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu labelled the services that allowed the photo to be published online as "tools of terrorist propaganda".

The newspaper reported that 166 sites were on the ban list, including a number of media orgs in Turkey. However, Twitter and YouTube later complied with the ruling and their services were then reinstated.

This isn't the first time Twitter has been dragooned into censoring its posts in Turkey. In January, the outfit apparently complied with the country's national security blackout demands by blocking access to a newspaper's tweets.

Sweden's one-time PM Carl Bildt warned:

Facebook had reportedly immediately complied with the court ruling, thereby swerving a blockade to its service on Monday. ®

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