The Ankara 13th Criminal Court of First Instance dismissed the appeal filed against the decision of the Ankara 1st Magistrate Criminal Court regarding the access ban to 44 IP addresses that provided access to the global video sharing site YouTube.The YouTube ban is facilitated by a 2007 Internet law allowing the government's Telecommunications Directorate and Turkish courts to restrict access to websites that violate Turkish law, here namely a law that violates the insult of Ataturk. The Turkish government has recently claimed that YouTube is in violation of Turkish laws pertaining to internet commerce.
The appeal had been filed by the Internet Technology Association (INTED). According to the nationwide Radikal daily, the decision finalized the ban imposed on YouTube two years ago.
About 2,000 people had met at Istanbul's centrally located Taksim square on Saturday (17 July) and walked down the popular Istiklal Avenue to protest internet censorship in Turkey. The demonstration was seen as a signal for more protests to come.
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While the access ban was reasoned with videos insulting the memory of Atatürk, Transport Minister Binali Yıldırm in particular announced on different occasions that YouTube as a company did not pay its part on advertising revenues. He furthermore pointed out that YouTube had not opened a representation in Turkey and that access to the site was banned because this was a breach of Turkish law.
For background, see July 1 post.