Turkey swings the banhammer with Youtube block

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Turkey has been causing some controversy over the past few weeks, after alleged government documents and recordings found their way in to the public domain through Twitter the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sought to ban Twitter from being used within the borders of Turkey and succeeded. With one swoop of power he announced that he would “wipe out Twitter” and indeed he did, for a time at least.

Millions of Turkish users circumvented the ban with the use of VPN services and regained access to Twitter through many means with a sense of determination that the internet, social media and the free exchange of information would not be halted due to the actions of the loose firing cannon that is the Turkish Prime Minister. Good news came on the 26th March that Turkish courts had overruled the ban which gives the countries telecom authority thirty days to decide if it will lift the ban.

Of course it is entirely possible that strong arm tactics and pressure from the Prime Ministers quarters could lead to a situation where the telecom authority chooses to leave the ban in place although what good this will do now that the use of VPN services has been passed far and wide amongst everyday Turkish internet users will be left to be seen. So regardless of if the ban is lifted or not, Turks will continue to access Twitter without hindrance when they enlist the services of any good VPN provider like those found on our VPN comparison table.

The story of the Turkish internet site bans thickens as recently as yesterday (27th March 2014) when it became apparent that after audio recordings of a government meeting were published on Youtube that it was the turn of Youtube itself to become victim in the latest round of site bans thus disabling access to any user from within Turkey from accessing Youtube. Not only does this have further implications for Turkish users who are constantly having their ability to access a free and open internet blocked but more disturbingly it seems that this is a continuing trend in Turkish politics reducing the freedoms that Turkish users experience online.

Further fallout for Turkey itself will be felt through the tourist industry. With Turkey being a popular destination for Russian, British and European holiday makers the ability to keep up with social media in this day and age is a requirement and many users expect to check in online what their friends and family are doing via social media while they are away. The trend appears to suggest that any large social media site such as Facebook or Google+ could become the next targets with a whole host of other minor websites falling in to the cross hair of the ban happy Turkish government.

As more and more countries try to push their repressive regimes on to their citizens and even countries which we consider open and democratic stamp out more websites or internet services that they deem unsuitable or against what is acceptable to be accessed from within their borders we face an ever more challenging situation of playing cat and mouse against a free and open internet and an internet that is dictated to us by those who feel they have the power to do so. With recent Turkish revelations and the situation worsening for many other countries around the world the need for making use of a VPN service to access free information is ever increasing and within time may become the norm for most internet users.

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