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Access to Indymedia-Istanbul and YouTube websites blocked by court orders

(BIANET/IFEX) - Access to the Indymedia-Istanbul website has been blocked following a court decision. Access to the Wordpress and YouTube websites is also currently blocked. Turkey continues to close down whole sites because of individual contributions, a measure which has been condemned by both BIANET and Reporters without Borders (RSF).

The Indymedia-Istanbul website, an independent news website, has been blocked to access since 21 March 2008, after a decree by the Gaziantep Araban Criminal Court of Peace in southeast Turkey.

Turkey has banned access to the video-sharing website http://www.youtube.com/ again and again, and ranks high in suppression of webspace. The country has been criticised for blocking access to websites because of individual contributions to a site.

Indymedia was formed in January 2003 to counteract the dominance of mainstream media in supporting the status quo. Website representatives released a statement saying, "There are attempts to silence Indymedia with censorship, but these are only attempts. Prosecutors have not yet learned that censorship is technically impossible on the Internet."

For now, the website can be accessed through http://istanbul.bbm.indymedia.org , or through http://anonymouse.org/anonwww.html website where readers can then plug in the Indymedia-Istanbul URL ( http://istanbul.indymedia.org/ ), or by changing the DNS settings of Internet connections.

For the last two weeks, access to Youtube.com has also been blocked, because the Ankara First Criminal Court of Peace decreed that a video accessible through the site insulted Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

RSF had previously condemned the complete blocking of access to Youtube because of the content of one or several videos, saying that this kind of penalty was "radical" and "disproportionate." Brazil and Iran have carried out similar punitive measures.

The Wordpress.com website was blocked to access in August 2007 after a decree from the Fatih Second Civil Court of First Instance, and is still not accessible.

Previously, the Eksi Sözlük website, an alternative "dictionary", and the Antoloji.com website were also blocked.

For further information on previous blocking of access to YouTube, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/90461

For the Wordpress.com, Eksi Sözlük and Antoloji.com cases, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/85905

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