Turkey lifts ban on Twitter

Thursday 03 April 2014 22.46
A woman uses her smartphone in Istanbul
A woman uses her smartphone in Istanbul

Turkey's telecoms authority has lifted a two-week-old ban on Twitter, after the constitutional court ruled the block breached freedom of expression.

Access to Twitter was blocked in the run-up to last Sunday's local elections, after a stream of leaked tapped recordings of senior officials appeared on the site.

Yesterday, Turkey's Constitutional Court unanimously ruled that the Twitter ban was a breach of free speech, and ordered the communications ministry and telecommunications authority TIB to reverse it "with immediate effect".

The US-based micro-blogging service reacted quickly after the court ruling, tweeting: "We welcome this Constitutional Court ruling and hope to have Twitter access restored in Turkey soon."

Since December, Twitter had been used to anonymously release a spate of audio recordings that purported to expose corruption involving Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's office and his political and business allies.

The ban has been widely circumvented by Twitter users, who instead sent tweets via text message or by adjusting their Internet settings.