YouTube returns to Turkey

Three months ago YouTube was banned throughout Turkey, found guilty of carrying a viewer’s clip (which some suggest was posted by a Greek user) that was deemed critical of modern Turkey’s “founder” Mustafa Ataturk (the comedy clip alleged that Ataturk was gay). Users found their access reinstated this past weekend although local reports say it will take a day or two for all ISP’s to get into line.

But the ban has had little or no affect on actual users, with estimates that about 1.5m Turkish users a day have been accessing YouTube via proxy servers outside Turkey. Indeed, Turkey’s ban has been as ineffectual as other prohibitions. Currently Thailand, China and Pakistan have similar bans in place, while YouTube has been banned five times by Turkey’s government in the last 18 months.

Turkey’s prohibition has been strongly condemned by Turkish free speech groups, and the web-industry generally.