The Public Chief Prosecution of Diyarbakır (south-eastern Anatolia) decided to lift the access ban to the blog publishing service blogspot.com (Blogger). Access to the site and millions of blogs published by the Google sub-service was suspended two weeks ago upon a complaint of the Turkish Satellite Television provider Digitürk.
The Prosecution's Office for the Investigation of Press Crimes removed the ban to blogspot.com and related internet protocol (IP) addresses on Monday (14 March). The decision was based on removing the "sportrhd, trgoals2, freesoccertrhd and izleligtvblog.blogspot.com" addresses from publication.
It might take a few days though to lift the restriction from all related sites and bring their accessibility back to normal.
Bloggers boycotted Digitürk, IT experts filed complaint
Digitürk had complaint on the grounds of footage of football league matches that had been published at the bolg sites. As a result of the decision, the Telecommunication Communication Presidency (TİB) suspended access to millions of Blogspot sites.
The satellite television provider held Google responsible for the incidents.
The censorship was widely criticized especially on social networking sites. Boycott campaigns against the company such as cancelling the contract with Digitürk were initiated.
The Internet Technologies Association (İNETD) filed a criminal complaint against Digitürk, the League TV channel, the Diyarbakır Public Prosecution and related institutions on the grounds of alleged "misconduct of office".
Fenerbahçe fans protest censorship in stadium
On Sunday night (13 March), Fenerbahçe fans posted a huge banner during a match at the Fenerbahçe stadium in Kadıköy (Asian side of Istanbul) featuring "Read about the championships at the blogs; do not touch my blog!"
Akdeniz: 'We wish they would not give a similar decision again'
Assoc. Prof. Yaman Akdeniz, founder of the Cyber-Rights.Org.tr website, announced, "Decisions to suspend access to sites related to Web 2.0-based platforms like Blogspot have serious side effects".
"Not only the contents that allegedly oppose the law are being banned from access. Furthermore, we must not forget that access is also rendered impossible to millions of legal websites that are in one single area which runs all systems".
"We wish and request that after this, decisions to suspend access of Web 2.0-based platforms will not be given".
Certain news sites banned for years
At the same time, other access bans applied to thousands of website according to Law No. 5651 on the "Regulation of Publications on the Internet and Suppression of Crimes Committed by means of Such Publication" are still being continued.
On 4 April 2009, the Istanbul 9th High Criminal Court decided to censor the news site of Atılım newspaper (www.atilim.org) as a "measure of protection".
A number of addresses of the webpage of the Fırat News Agency (ANF) have been censored for almost three years now.
News agency sites such as FıratNews.com or FıratNews.eu were banned from access by decisions of the Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court on 10 January 2008 and the Ankara 11th High Criminal Court dated 8 February 2008 and 9 May 2008 respectively. (EÇ/EÖ/VK)
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