Dubai: Turkey said on Thursday that it was in talks with YouTube to remove a new ban on the video sharing site should it remove content it opposes.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government on Thursday banned YouTube, a week after blocking access to Twitter, after both were used to spread audio recordings of official meetings that angered the government.
The government informed mobile phone operators and internet service providers of its decision, the Hurriyet newspaper reported on its website.
The ban comes after an alleged audio recording of a meeting between the Turkey’s foreign minister, intelligence chief and top military and foreign ministry officials was leaked on YouTube. The four are allegedly heard discussing a military intervention in Syria against militants who have threatened to bomb the tomb of Suleyman Shah, a monument that is on Turkish territory inside Syria under international agreements.
Turkey’s foreign ministry said earlier in the day that the leaking of the recording was a “wretched attack” on national security and those behind it would receive the heaviest punishment.
In a written statement, the ministry said some sections of the recording — presented on an anonymous YouTube account as Turkey’s intelligence chief discussing Syria with the foreign minister and deputy head of the armed forces — had been manipulated.
The foreign ministry in Ankara said in a statement that the meeting, attended by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the head of national intelligence and other military and diplomatic officials according to the tape, was a natural response to threats to an enclave of Turkish territory inside Syria, Bloomberg reported. It said some sections of the tape were “distorted.”
Google said it was looking into reports that users in Turkey are unable to access its YouTube.
“We’re seeing reports that some users are not able to access YouTube in Turkey. There is no technical issue on our side and we’re looking into the situation,” a Google Inc spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
The earlier attempted crackdown on Twitter came after links to other wiretapped recordings suggesting corruption were spread on the microblogging site, causing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government major embarrassment before local elections on March 30.