Turkish YouTube grants government more control
Turkey won a long-running battle with YouTube to host YouTube under a Turkish web domain on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
Anyone using the Internet on a Turkish IP address will be redirected to youtube.com.tr when trying to access YouTube, according to a YouTube spokesperson. YouTube will be required to comply with Turkish laws on censorship and pay taxes.
“This is an important development,” Transport and Communications Minister Binali Yildirim said. “For a long time we have made a call to Internet firms in Turkey: ‘you are operating in this country, you must be resident here.’”
Yildirim also noted that YouTube ultimately “felt the pressure” about setting up operations in Turkey.
Authorities found that it was difficult to remove videos online before because it involved contacting organizations outside the country, but now that YouTube has a Turkish domain, they will be able to block content on the video-sharing site more quickly.
The country has long faced criticism over the years for their repressive Internet laws and freedom of expression, although many Turkish users have been able to get around blocked sites by using a proxy website to access the information.
Turkey originally banned YouTube for 30 months after videos deemed insulting to the country’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk appeared online in 2008. The country regained access regained access in October 2010.
Last week a Turkish court order gave officials the authority to block access to the infamous Innocence of Muslims trailer which caused riots throughout many Muslim countries for the past few weeks. Yildirim denied rumors last month that the government would ban Facebook and Twitter during times of turmoil.
Photo via Jeremy Vandel/Flickr