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YouTube access again blocked by court order because of "insulting" videos

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders condemns a court ruling on 18 September 2007 ordering Internet Service Providers to block access to the video-sharing website YouTube because of videos deemed to insult President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the army and the Turkish republic's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

"Blocking an entire website because of a few videos is a disproportionate measure," the press freedom organisation said. "We urge the authorities to reverse this decision."

The national news agency Anatolia said the court asked the Turkish Council for Communications to ensure that access to YouTube was blocked. The court issued its ruling in response to a complaint by a resident of the city of Sivas.

Anatolia reported that YouTube issued a statement saying it was ready to cooperate with the authorities in order to resolve the problem. Access to YouTube was previously blocked by a court order in March, and was unblocked again following the removal of videos regarded as an insult to Atatürk (see IFEX alert of 9 March 2007).

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