Turkey has banned YouTube after the video sharing website was used to disseminate leaked a recording of government officials. The news comes only a week after he banned Twitter, vowing to show the "power of the Turkish republic." The news comes 3 days before local elections.
The ban was put in place by the Telecommunication Directorate (TIB). It used new sweeping powers granted by an internet bill passed on February 6th. A notice on the TIB website made the announcement.
It said "After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651, ADMINISTRATION MEASURE has been taken for this website (Youtube.com) according to Decision Nr. 490.05.01.2014.-48125 dated 27/03/2014 of Telekomünikasyon İletişim Başkanlığı"
The leaked video which prompted the shutdown showed ministers discussing a possibile attack on Syria with a high-ranking general. A partial transcript in english is being shared on social media. If genuine, it includes evidence that Turkey was planning a false flag attack on its own soil in order to provide justification for the war.
Erdogan has threatened to block youtube and facebook in the past. He called social media the "worst menace to society." Corruption allegations have dogged his administration for months. Turkish journalist Burak Bekdil told Clarion Project last week that "everyone who opposes Erdogan lives in fear."
Erdogan's policies have caused widespread anger in Turkey. Most recently protests flared up after the death of Berkin Elvan, a 15 year old boy who died in early March after a 9 month coma. Police had shot him in the head with a tear gas canister.
It remains to be seen what response this latest attack on civil liberties will provoke.