Turkish court overturns ban on Twitter

27 Mar 2014

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The ban on Twitter in Turkey is no more, now that a court has overturned the government-instigated shutdown that resulted from tweets on the microblogging site implicating Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a corruption scandal.

Yesterday the Ankara administrative court ruled that the ban restricted freedom of expression, DAWN.com reported.

In its legal challenge against the ban, the Turkish Bar Association had argued the ban had been without legal grounds and an arbitrary decision.

The Ankara court is to now inform Turkey’s telecommunications regulator, TIB, of its decision against the ban, and Twitter users in Turkey should be able to access the site again today.

Twitter said it expected the government to restore access to the site “immediately so that its citizens can continue an open online dialogue ahead of the elections to be held at the end of this week”.

Twitter also said it had faced three court orders. In two cases, the company said it suspended content because it breached its own content rules. Twitter challenged a third court order, however, that told the company to remove an account that accused a former minister of corruption.

The ban clamped down on Twitter on 20 March, after Erdogan vowed to “wipe out” the site, adding that it had failed to abide by Turkish laws.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic