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Turkey's top court orders Twitter ban lifted

 
 
 
 
 
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A general view of the building of Turkey’s Constitutional Court in Ankara.

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ordered the government to unblock the social media website Twitter, which was banned in the country last month.

The top court ruled on Wednesday that the government’s ban on Twitter “violated Article 26 of the Constitution safeguarding freedom of expression,” and thus must be lifted.

It reportedly sent a statement both to the country’s telecommunications authority and the communications ministry to “do what’s necessary.”

The court case was brought by academics Yaman Akdeniz of Bilgi University in Istanbul and Kerem Altiparmak of Ankara University, as well as opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Sezgin Tanrikulu.

It is, however, not yet clear if the court order, the second such ruling, will eventually lift the ban.

Last month, an Ankara administrative court also found the ban on Twitter against freedom of expression, after the Turkish Bar Association launched a legal challenge.

But the government appealed that verdict, and the ban remained in place.

Turkey blocked Twitter on March 20, after it was used to spread corruption allegations against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his inner circle.

The ban ahead of the local elections in the country brought the Erdogan administration under fire at home and drew criticism from rights groups and Ankara’s Western allies.

Still Turkey blocked YouTube a week later following the publication of an audio recording on the video sharing website that implicated top Turkish officials discussing possible military operations in Syria.

Ankara condemned the leaking on YouTube as an act of espionage and said it had created “a national security issue.”

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