After a two year YouTube blackout, officials in Turkey today lifted their ban on the world’s most popular video sharing website.
Bans originally started in March 2007 when videos showed up on the website with offensive comments made against Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. After a short period the site was unblocked only to repeat the block/unblock cycle for just over one year, until in May 2008 YouTube was completely blocked in the country.
The recent whitelisting of the site according to Turkish Transport Minister Binali Yildirim occurred because:
“…We didn’t get here easily, we have been through a lot in the process. I hope that they have also learned from this experience and the same thing will not happen again. YouTube will hopefully carry out its organization in Turkey within the limits of law in the future.”
While it’s a positive step for individuals wanting to browse the site in the country, YouTube says they had absolutely nothing to do with the videos being removed. In a statement released to the public YouTube said:
“We want to be clear that a third party, not YouTube, [has] apparently removed some of the videos that have caused the blocking of YouTube in Turkey using our automated copyright complaint process. We are investigating whether this action is valid in accordance with our copyright policy.”