YouTube Ban Goes To European Court Of Human Rights!

The Internet Technologies Association (ITD) has taken a concrete step towards the ban of YouTube, the most popular video sharing web site worldwide that has been banned in Turkey for almost 1,5 years.  Having tried all other means against the court’s decision to ban access to YouTube in Turkey, ITD brought the case to European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

According to NTVMSNBC’s news Head of INETD Mustafa Akgül said about the appeal:

“We were forced to appeal to the ECtHR last week as all domestic recourse has been exhausted. Violation of the 10th article of the European Convention on Human Rights [ECHR] constitutes the primary reason for our appeal. The Information Technologies and Communication Institute [BTİK] could have enabled certain videos to be filtered, which are the reasons for the ban. However, they have diminished the rights of citizens to express their opinions freely.

The ban is a violation of Article 6 of the ECHR on the right to a fair trial, limiting persons who are not relevant to those videos, a temporary injunction is applied as if it is a definitive judgment and it brings limitations to the right of legal remedies. The temporary injunction has been applied since last year May while it should be valid only for a limited period of time. The court has not tried to hear defense, nor has it applied for expert opinion before the temporary injunction.  In other words, we believe that this ban decision is a horrible example of justice.”

Today YouTube is the biggest video sharing website, which is being used by not only personal sharing, but also academic sharing. When we consider this fact, ban on access to YouTube means being incapable of using not only information, but also global technologic potential. On this issue, Mustafa Akgül said:

“It’s possible to ban certain insulting videos, not the whole Web site, which millions of people make use of, like YouTube. Information Technologies and Telecommunication Institute (BTIK) has enough technical, financial and administrative resources to carry that out. However, the public opinion does not put enough pressure on the issue, so the issue does not come up to the fore.”

It would be misguiding people if we considered ban on access to YouTube in Turkey a simple video website ban, since YouTube is the most important source for global video content and is an important service for web developers, companies and online broadcasts. To speak on behalf of Webrazzi, we are affected adversely due to not being able to use YouTube as a video service from time to time.

A majority of Turkish Internet users is able to access YouTube today, but it shouldn’t be seen as a permament solution and users should not come to terms with this ban.

I do not know when or how this appeal will result, but it is absolutely very important step in terms of finding a solution to YouTube ban in our country. I hope that this issue will be handled gain by Turkish authorities and YouTube company officials in the shortest time.

As I have mentioned in my articles on this issue before, YouTube ban will bring harm to our country’s economy, not only to its image before the world. I think it is time to make a research on the issue and reveal the topic in numbers.

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