Turkish PM Erdogan criticises Twitter court ruling

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Media captionThe social media prohibitions were widely criticised and ridiculed by Turks

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised a court ruling which lifted a ban on Twitter.

The court had told the country's telecommunication authorities the two-week-old ban must be lifted as it was a breach of freedom of expression.

Mr Erdogan had vowed to "wipe out" Twitter after users spread corruption allegations involving him and his son, which he denied.

On Friday another court ordered the lifting of a similar ban on YouTube.

Mr Erdogan said his government had complied with the ruling on Twitter but that he did not respect it.

"I don't find it right and patriotic that the Constitutional Court has adopted such a decision," Mr Erdogan said, according to the Hurriyet website.

"While they are protecting an American company, our national and moral values are being disregarded."

Friday's ruling regarding YouTube reportedly stated that 15 videos should remain blocked.

Users across the country had found many ways of circumventing the prohibitions, which were widely criticised and ridiculed.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The controversy over social media coincided with the campaign for local elections on 30 March, won by Mr Erdogan's AKP party
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption This board at an opposition party office in Istanbul told users alternative ways to access Twitter


Mr Erdogan ordered the Twitter ban after recordings of corruption allegations linked to him and members of his family were posted and shared online. He said the recordings were fake and edited.

The ban was imposed on 21 March on the grounds that Twitter had failed to remove the allegations of corruption involving senior officials.

However the constitutional court ruled on 2 April that the ban was illegal.

On Thursday, Twitter's public policy team said it was "encouraged by the news from Turkey" and welcomed Turkish users back to the site.

Following the Twitter ban, the government had also banned access to YouTube, after a video on the website appeared to reveal top officials discussing how to stage an undercover attack inside Syria. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is apparently heard asking about the possibility of sending tanks in.

The YouTube recording, posted anonymously, has not been verified as authentic. Mr Erdogan alleges that such recordings are being fabricated to turn people against him.

The Washington Post published a transcript of the leaked security meeting, "courtesy of a veteran translator" who asked not to be named.

Mr Erdogan has lashed out at social media, accusing "plotters" of leaking recordings to deliberately undermine him.

One of those he has accused is a US-based Islamic cleric and former ally of his, Fethullah Gulen.

Mr Gulen has denied allegations that he is involved.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul, a Twitter user, has spoken out against the bans.

During big anti-government demonstrations last year, protesters made heavy use of both Twitter and Facebook to spread information.

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