Turkey Gets YouTube Back After 2 ½ Year Ban, But Will It Last?

By Megan O'Neill Comment

Turkish web video fanatics will be happy to learn that they are finally able to access YouTube again, after a ban of two and a half years. The YouTube blackout officially began in May 2008, following a year of on and off bans. But will the reinstatement last? Will YouTube be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with turkey this year?

YouTube was originally banned in Turkey because of questionable material on the site that insulted the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. In Turkey it is a crime to insult Ataturk and, although the people who uploaded the video were apparently Greek, the Turkish government was offended enough to block YouTube from all of its citizens.

According to Business Week, the offensive videos were removed from the video site last week, “when a company set up in Germany by the Turkish Internet Board used YouTube’s automated copyright-complaint mechanism to have them taken down.” The site was reinstated in Turkey shortly after the videos were taken down.

However, Business Week also reported that the videos were reposted to YouTube today, as the site found that they did not violate copyright policies. The videos will be accessible outside of Turkey. It now remains to be determined whether the Turkish government will continue to allow their citizens to visit the YouTube site, or if the mere fact that a few videos insulting Mustafa Kemal Ataturk that cannot even be viewed from within Turkish boarders will ruin things for an entire country.

What do you think of the fact that YouTube was banned in Turkey for so long, and do you think the reinstatement will last?