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YouTube banned in Turkey

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 7, 2007 06:42 PM

Well, this is an interesting twist. YouTube, known in these parts for banning those who insult Islam, is now being banned for carrying videos that insult Turkey:

A court in Turkey on Wednesday ordered blockage of all access to YouTube, the popular video-sharing Web site, over a video deemed insulting to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.

The ban followed a week of what the media in Turkey dubbed a “virtual war” of videos between Greeks and Turks on YouTube and came as governments around the world — including France — grappled with the freewheeling content now readily posted on the Internet.

The largest Internet provider in Turkey, Turk Telecom, immediately complied with the ban and cut off access to the site.

“We are not in the position of saying that what YouTube did was an insult, that it was right or wrong,” Paul Doany, the chairman of Turk Telecom, told the state-run Anatolia news agency. “A court decision was proposed to us, and we are doing what that court decision says.”

Visitors to the site in Turkey on Wednesday afternoon were greeted with the message first in Turkish and then in English: “Access to www.youtube.com site has been suspended in accordance with decision no: 2007/384 dated 06.03.2007 of Istanbul First Criminal Peace Court.”

YouTube expressed dismay over the move, adding that the offending video had been removed and that the company was working with the government to resolve the situation.

“We are disappointed that YouTube has been blocked in Turkey,” the company said in a statement.

What goes around comes around, I guess.

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Meanwhile, there’s a move in Congress to urge YouTube to stop aiding jihad. Haven’t seen the actual and am not endorsing it until I know more. But here’s the press release FYI:

Shuster Introduces Legislation to Fight Terrorists’ Use of the Internet

Takes Action Against the Online Jihad

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA-09), a member of the House Anti-Terrorism Caucus, introduced legislation urging owners of video-trading websites like You Tube to take action to remove jihadi propaganda videos.

“The war against Islamic radicalism is both a shooting war and a battle of ideology. Our enemies understand that they cannot defeat us face to face on the battleground, so they have created a new battlefield on the Internet,” Shuster said.

“Terrorists hope that by opening this new front, their view of the world will prevail. It is up to the owners and users of video-trading sites to remain vigilant and help to deny our enemies this victory,” Shuster said.

Jihadi terrorist organizations have long understood the benefits of the Internet to spread their cause. Jihadi sites allow terrorists to fundraise and distribute propaganda. They also facilitate the radicalization, recruitment and training of prospective terrorists. The popularity, ease of use, and negligible cost of video-sharing websites like YouTube and LiveLeak have provided yet another channel for terrorists to spread their ideology of hate.

Terrorist organizations including Al-Qaeda have set up sophisticated media operations whose mission is to create and distribute jihadi propaganda and training materials on the Internet.

Shuster’s legislation would express Congress’ desire to see the corporate owners of video-sharing website take action to remove jihadi videos from their sites. Additionally, the legislation encourages website owners to cooperate with law enforcement if their sites users are found to participate in terrorism.

“I doubt that the American public in World War II would have accepted the major media outlets of the time distributing Nazi propaganda at face value,” Shuster added. “Times have changed, media has evolved, but the fact remains – terrorists hope their supporters see these videos and are encouraged to attack Western interests. These videos aid the enemy and they must be confronted.”

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