Less than a week after a similar blackout of Twitter, the Turkish government banned YouTube on Thursday. This crackdown comes just days before the Turks are to vote in nationwide municipal elections.
The Turkish government said its YouTube block is a response to the leak of a conversation between top government officials purportedly discussing the possibility of going to war with neighboring Syria.
“It is seen as appropriate that a temporary broadcast ban be implemented on the voice recordings on social media and alleged to be between the foreign minister, the head of the National Intelligence Agency and military officials,” the Radio and Television Supreme Council announced on its website.
At the center of all this is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s Prime Minister, attempting to fight off corruption claims and to stop the flow of phone recordings spreading across social media which allegedly show him and his associates engaging in large-scale corruption, media manipulation and plotting war against Syria.
Erdoğan has called some recordings “immorally edited material,” including a conversation in which a man who sounds like the Prime Minister allegedly instructed his son to hide millions of dollars in cash from police investigators.
Male voices can be heard discussing whether to send troops into neighboring Syria, where Turkey has supported the civil rebellion against the government in Damascus, a conflict that has lasted more than three years.
“Monitoring such a meeting of a highly confidential nature which was held at a location such as the office of the Foreign Minister, where the most sensitive security issues of the State are discussed and releasing these conversations to the public are a despicable attack, an act of espionage and a very serious crime against the national security of Turkey,” announced Turkey’s Foreign Ministry in a statement on Thursday.
Turkey’s internet crackdown seems to be escalating… Which social network outlet do you think is next?