Twitter still blocked in Turkey, despite legal victory

Turkish women using cellphones outside the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, in 2008. Cellphone use is widespread in Turkey.

Above: Turkish women using cellphones outside the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, in 2008. Cellphone use is widespread in Turkey.

Image Credit: Kate Dixon

Twitter is making progress in its fight against the Turkish government’s attempts to take it offline. Sort of.

Yesterday, Twitter announced that a Turkish court had given it a legal victory: Overturning a takedown order aimed at a specific Twitter account. That account contained tweets accusing a former government official, former Transport Minister Binali Yildirim, of corruption, and the government wanted the account deleted. Twitter petitioned the court to overturn that takedown request, and on Friday, the court agreed.

“This decision is an exceptionally strong win for freedom of expression, and it will be of paramount value for us in protecting Twitter’s users against other attempts at censorship in the future,” Twitter wrote, in a post titled “Victory for free expression in Turkish court.”

However, the court did not address the overall ban on Twitter in Turkey, and Twitter — along with YouTube — remains unreachable in that country via most ordinary methods.

However, as ABC notes, “Many tech-savvy users, including President Abdullah Gul, have found ways of circumventing the ban on both Twitter and YouTube.”

 

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