Turkey may have banned YouTube because of a recording which was leaked on the site. The recording was just audio, but the anonymous YouTube user claimed it was of the Turkish head of intelligence talking about a potential military strike against Syria. The intelligence head was said to have been talking to the deputy chief of the Turkish military and the Turkish foreign minister.
In the recording, the three people are discussing the potential of an operation in which they would take over Suleyman Shah’s tomb. The tomb is of symbolic importance as he was the Ottoman Empire’s founder. Turkish officials also consider the tomb to be under Turkish rule because of a treaty which Turkey and France signed in 1921. At that time, France ruled Syria.
Turkish officials threatened weeks ago that they would retaliate for Syrian attacks on the tomb. In the recording on YouTube, a voice says they have “international legitimacy” for running an operation against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The voice also states that the issue is about protecting “national soil.” The person who leaked the alleged recording presented that voice as belonging to Feridun Sinirlioglu, undersecretary of the foreign ministry.
The ISIL has clashed recently with local rebel groups not far from the border with Turkey. The group is a breakaway group of al Qaeda.
Last week Turkey blocked Twitter, and now the country has blocked has blocked Google’s YouTube. Today Twitter users in Turkey are reporting that upon visiting the site, they receive this message:
“Access has been blocked by Telecommunication Communication Presidency.” Of course the message is also given in Turkish above, and there are a few links where users can go for more details.
Twitter users in Turkey were able to get around that ban by tweeting from their mobile devices, which is why we have so many tweets about the YouTube ban. However, there likely isn’t a workaround for this one—at least not one for the averafe YouTube users. Also Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened in the past to shut down both YouTube and Facebook.