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Kliptube video-sharing website blocked; newspaper confiscated, Gundem website blocked for coverage of PKK

(Antenna-TR/IFEX) - Another video-sharing website, Kliptube.com, has been blocked, as the YouTube.com and Dailymotion sites have been. YouTube.com, the biggest video-sharing website, has been blocked in Turkey for three months. Since the beginning of August 2008, access to Dailymotion.com has been blocked too. There is no information as to when and why the Kliptube site was ordered blocked. Users attempting to access Kliptube.com find a notice, "Access to this website has been blocked by court order." The same thing applies to the Dailymotion website.

In a separate development, on 13 August 2008 Ankara High Criminal Court Number 11 blocked the broadcasting of the website gundemonline.net, which focuses on Kurdish issues, for publishing a Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) statement.

Website administrators said that the site had been blocked four times before and added, "We have not been informed (of the reasons that access was blocked), apart from the notice on the webpage. Lifting the ban through legal proceedings is too long a process for us. Hence, we continue our broadcasting under another extension."

In a second development related to coverage of the PKK, "Birgün" daily newspaper has been ordered confiscated. The Istanbul High Criminal Court Num.12 ordered the confiscation of "Birgün" newspaper over an interview done by Hakan Tahmaz with a leader of the PKK Murat Karayilan, in Mount Kandil. The report, entitled "Unilateral Ceasefire Aggravates the problem", was published on 9 August. The newspaper was ordered confiscated for "publishing a statement of the PKK", an offence under Anti-Terror Law article 6/2.

In a third development relating to Kurdish issues, the use of the Kurdish-language in the public sphere has again been blocked by the authorities. The Diyarbakir Kayapinar Council's initiative to give Kurdish flower names to five parks has been stopped by Diyarbakir Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu. Governor Mutlu based his refusal on an article on "separatist names" in the Directive on Addresses and Numbering and sent his decision to the council on 21 July.

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