It was Twitter a week ago and now YouTube has joined its ranks. Before this Prime Minister Erdogan had vowed to ban Facebook and the other online social sites. He spoke of how he would not allow Turkey to be a hostage to these foreign instruments of control.
But the fact of the matter is that this ban has not really blocked access to the sites. Rather the “Streisand Effect” has proven to be true once again. By restricting access to something titillating, the people’s curiosity has been piqued for it.
Already some of the agitation against the government has been captured in the form of video clips on these social sites. And a court overturned the government’s decision to ban Twitter.
Yet this new ban on YouTube has only added fuel to the fire. Election time has come closer and the government of Erdogan does not want any trouble.
"The block was announced on the telecommunications authority’s website, which said it had taken an “administrative measure” against YouTube “after technical analysis and legal consideration.” Erdoğan and other government officials denounced the leak in comments Thursday," according to WSJ.
Youtube is closed after alleged leaked conversation about starting a war in Syria— Fercan Yalinkilic (@FercanY) March 27, 2014
A video of the top brass of Turkey discussing plans of fighting in Syria has been leaked among other vital clips. Another one shows vast sums of money being hidden by the prime minister from the police.
These brief visual scenes were watched on YouTube and other websites hundreds of thousands of times by people of all shades. This of course has led to a fall in the popularity graph of the government.
Former Google policy director, Andrew McLaughlin, also worked on Turkish issues, said “It’s an escalation of censorship efforts.”
The onslaught of censorship measures has proven to be quite an unpopular move. It has alienated the majority of the population. Turkey is populated by vast numbers of youths who are liberal while the elderly population is traditional and conservative.
The country has faced its own version of political unrest in recent times. And while it is a liberal and secular country, the fundamentalist forces are still vying to get in power. Such sites as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are the lifeblood of the youth who have a platform through them to express their inner urges and distress.