Skip to main content

Turkish court tells government: Restore Twitter access

By Gul Tuysuz and Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
updated 2:43 PM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
Protesters in Ankara hold
Protesters in Ankara hold "Do not touch my Twitter" placards during a demonstration last month against Turkey's Twitter ban.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Turkish court rules country's ban on Twitter violates right to free expression
  • Lower court overturned ban last week, but government has yet to restore service
  • Prime Minister has blamed social media for fueling anti-government rhetoric
  • Wednesday's ruling did not address a YouTube ban that came after one on Twitter

(CNN) -- A Turkish court ruled Wednesday that the country's ban on Twitter violates the right to free expression and demanded that citizens' access to the popular microblogging service be restored.

Three people filed complaints to the Constitutional Court after the Telecommunications Directorate blocked access to the social media website Twitter.

The court sent its decision to the Telecommunications Directorate and the Transportation, Maritime and Communication Ministry, asking that necessary measures to restore the service be taken.

Speaking to the daily newspaper Hurriyet, Metin Feyzioglu, president of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, said, "If they don't abide by the ruling, we will file a criminal complaint against the (Telecommunications Directorate) by attaching the ruling of the Constitutional Court."

Twitter users circumvent Erdogan's ban

A lower court overturned the Twitter ban last week, but access to the service has not been restored.

Turkey bans Twitter

Blaming social media for fueling anti-government rhetoric, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to "eradicate" Twitter at a campaign rally in Bursa on March 20.

Within hours, Turkish Internet users were reporting widespread disruptions to Twitter.

Outrage ensued as the hashtags #TwitterisblockedinTurkey and #DictatorErdogan began trending worldwide.

Freedom of expression campaign group Index on Censorship said the ban, which it called "censorship of which the worst authoritarian regimes would be proud" was "emblematic of the increasingly authoritarian tendencies" of Erdogan.

Wednesday's court ruling did not address a YouTube ban that took place less than a week after Twitter was blocked.

CNN's Byrony Jones contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 4:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
updated 12:52 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
CNN's Will Ripley travels to North Korea, visiting an international wrestling festival and a slide-filled water park.
updated 5:20 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Our whole solar system appears to be inside a searing gas bubble, scientists say.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
In a raid on a luxury apartment complex, agents caught up with a French-Algerian man they accuse of bringing back terror to Europe.
updated 8:02 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
One journalist murdered, another still being held by ISIS -- a ransom negotiator talks to CNN about trying to get a hostage home alive.
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
updated 2:35 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
South Africa Music Legends stamps
Artist Hendrik Gericke puts a spotlight on iconic performers from South Africa in these incredible monochrome illustrations.
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT