Friday, 28 March 2008

Turkey: Access to Indymedia-Istanbul and YouTube websites blocked by court orders

SOURCE: IPS Communication Foundation (BIANET), Istanbul(BIANET/IFEX) -
Access to the Indymedia-Istanbul website has been blocked following a court decision. Access to the Wordpress and YouTube websites isalso currently blocked. Turkey continues to close down whole sites becauseof individual contributions, a measure which has been condemned by both BIANET and Reporters without Borders (RSF).

The Indymedia-Istanbul website, an independent news website, has been blocked to access since 21 March 2008, after a decree by the GaziantepAraban Criminal Court of Peace in southeast Turkey.Turkey has banned access to the video-sharing website again and again, and ranks high in suppression of webspace. The country has been criticised for blocking access to websitesbecause of individual contributions to a site.Indymedia was formed in January 2003 to counteract the dominance ofmainstream media in supporting the status quo. Website representativesreleased a statement saying, "There are attempts to silence Indymedia withcensorship, but these are only attempts. Prosecutors have not yet learnedthat censorship is technically impossible on the Internet."

For now, the website can be accessed through , or through website where readers can then plug inthe Indymedia-Istanbul URL ( ), or bychanging the DNS settings of Internet connections.For the last two weeks, access to has also been blocked,because the Ankara First Criminal Court of Peace decreed that a videoaccessible through the site insulted Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.RSF had previously condemned the complete blocking of access to Youtubebecause of the content of one or several videos, saying that this kind ofpenalty was "radical" and "disproportionate." Brazil and Iran have carriedout similar punitive measures.The website was blocked to access in August 2007 after adecree from the Fatih Second Civil Court of First Instance, and is stillnot accessible.Previously, the Eksi Sözlük website, an alternative "dictionary", and website were also blocked.For further information on previous blocking of access to YouTube, see: the, Eksi Sözlük and cases, see:

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