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Turkish court upholds YouTube ban

Site banned for defamation of Ataturk

A court in Ankara, Turkey, has said the ban on YouTube in the country will continue, as the website had not altered its activities which led to the ban on 5 May, 2008.

The court had banned Google's video-sharing site for broadcasting videos that included content defaming Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish Republic.

The decision followed an appeal by the Internet Technologies Association, an internet rights group in Turkey, which had legally challenged the ban on YouTube earlier last month.

The association argued that the ban violated citizens' fundamental human rights, the freedom of conversations and their right to information.

In 2007, Turkey passed a law to shut down websites that encouraged suicide, drug use, gambling and prostitution. The law was further extended to create a government office with the authority to shut down websites without a court order.

Earlier this month, President Abdullah Gul had said that free speech restrictions were preventing Turkey from integrating with the world. He said he would ask the authorities to look into ways to lift the ban.