TORONTO – Access to YouTube has been blocked in Turkey, a day after a Turkish court ordered the telecommunications authority to restore citizens’ access to Twitter.
The ban comes after an alleged audio recording of a meeting between 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.
The Turkish telecom authority confirmed the block on its website.
Reports of the blocked URL began surfacing on social media around 10:30a.m. EST from users who have managed to circumvent the Twitter ban by using workarounds such as virtual private network (VPN) services.
This is not the first time YouTube has been blocked in Turkey. A Turkish court blocked the website in 2007.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan banned Twitter last Friday after users began tweeting about recordings that allegedly incriminate Erdogan and other officials.
According to the International Business Times, Erdogan has also said the country could block Facebook.
But it seems users have been able to circumvent the YouTube ban just as they have with Twitter.
According to a tweet from Toronto-based VPN provider Tunnel Bear – who is currently providing Turkish users with free use of its services – its site saw record traffic coming from Turkey just two hours after the ban was instated.
“Tunnel Bear smashed our weekend download records over the last 4 hours,” co-founder Ryan Dochuk told Global News Thursday afternoon.
“In just the first hour since it was announced that YouTube has been blocked in Turkey, we had over 60,000 people download our apps.”
With a file from the Associated Press