And now YouTube: Turkey takes down YouTube after damaging recording leaked

27 Mar 2014

Less than a day after a Turkish court overruled the prime minister’s decision to block access to Twitter, the government has now taken down YouTube after a politically sensitive recording has been leaked on the site.

Reuters reported that a sound recording appeared on the video-sharing website that supposedly reveals a conversation between Turkey’s intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, discussing potential military operations in neighbouring state Syria.

The original posting was made on an anonymous YouTube account and after spreading virally among Turkish news organisations and the public. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government then decided to close down the website until further notice.

This move comes less than a day after the Ankara administrative court overturned the Erdogan’s decision to block Twitter for what he saw as a threat to his upcoming re-election on 30 March, going so far as to say “Twitter, schmitter!”, after the ban was put in place.

Erdogan has been widely criticised for his attitudes to social media and communications on the web, and has been struggling to suppress allegations of corruption against him.

Turkish internet users have already begun to find ways of circumventing the YouTube ban, just like they had done with the Twitter ban, using a variety of DNS proxies.

Turkish proxy tweet

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic