June 5, 2010

Turkey bans Google's Services, Twitter and Friendfeed

The Turkish government has reportedly blocked access to some or all of Google’s services in that country. Turkish citizens on Twitter and other social networks such as FriendFeed have also reported access problems, and have been sharing comments about the blockage using hashtags such as TurkeyCensorGoogle, TurkeyGoogleBan and NoGoogleNoWeb. 

It’s not clear whether this is a deliberate attempt to block all of Google’s websites and services, or whether the latest access restrictions are related to the government’s ongoing attempts to block YouTube. Access to Google’s video service was cut off in 2008 after complaints that videos critical of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk — the founder of modern Turkey — were available on YouTube. Criticism of Turkey, or any “insult to Turkishness,” is a criminal offence in that country, reports GigaOm. 

A Google spokesman has said, “We have received reports that some Google applications are unable to be accessed in Turkey. The difficulty in accessing some Google services in Turkey appears to be linked to the ongoing ban on YouTube. We are working to get our services back up as soon as possible.” 

The telecommunication and communication ministry (TIB), a government body that can control internet accessibility in Turkey are reportedly attempting to block certain IPs (internet protocol addresses) belonging to Google due to ‘legal reason’. ISPs in the country are understood to have told users that they would suffer accessibility problems to Google’s home page in Turkey, websites that use Google Analytics, and use of the Google Toolbar. [Source: National Turk]
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