Report: Ankara court moves towards overturning Twitter ban in Turkey

Twitter applauded the decision and called on the government to restore access to its microblogging service immediately

A Turkish court has sided with Twitter, whose microblogging service has been blocked in the country for almost one week following a government order.

An Ankara administrative court has put on ice an order issued by Turkey's telecommunications authority to cut off access to Twitter, the Hurriyet Daily News reported on Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinç said the government will abide by the court's ruling. "We might not like the court decision, but we will carry it out," he told reporters, according to the Turkish newspaper.

For its part, Twitter applauded the court's decision and called for the government to lift the ban immediately "so that its citizens can continue an open online dialogue ahead of the elections to be held at the end of this week," wrote Twitter's general counsel Vijaya Gadde in a blog post on Wednesday.

He added that the company has been engaged in talks with Turkish authorities to discuss their concerns, explain how Twitter works and try to find a solution. "But still, the millions of people in Turkey who turn to Twitter to make their voices heard are being kept from doing just that," the post reads.

As a result, Twitter has decided to file petitions for lawsuits in various Turkish courts.

The controversy erupted on March 21, when the government blocked access to the microblogging site after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan vowed to "wipe out Twitter." The government said Twitter had ignored Turkish court orders to remove content that is considered to be in violation of the country's privacy laws.

The Twitter block triggered complaints from organizations inside and outside Turkey, including the U.S. government.

Ankara's 15th administrative court ruled that blocking Twitter in its entirety was a violation of Turkey's constitution and of the European Convention of Human Rights, according to the newspaper.

Turkey's telecommunications authority can appeal the ruling, but in the meantime the ban on Twitter should be lifted, according to legal experts interview by the Hurriyet Daily News. It's not clear when the block on Twitter will be removed.

Twitter said it complied in taking down two accounts that it determined violated its own terms of services, but the company is balking at fully complying with a third court order, because it involves removing an account used to accuse a former minister of corruption.

"This order causes us concern. Political speech is among the most important speech, especially when it concerns possible government corruption. That's why today we have also petitioned the Turkish court on behalf of our users to reverse this order," Gadde wrote.

For the time being, Twitter is making the account inaccessible in Turkey, but keeping it available for users in the rest of the world.

"We'd like to emphasize that at no point during this blockage have we given the Turkish government any user data like email or IP addresses, consistent with our commitment to user privacy," Gadde wrote.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags legaltwitterinternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?