Turkey Blocks Social Media Over Photos of Slain Prosecutor

ipaditalia-goes-socialTurkish authorities blocked access to Twitter, YouTube and briefly to Facebook over the publication of photos of the prosecutor taken hostage and killed by militants in Istanbul last week.

Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said a prosecutor sought the ban on social media after the photos’ release.

“This has to do with the publishing of the prosecutor’s picture. What happened in the aftermath (of the prosecutor’s killing) is as grim as the incident itself,” he said, Reuters reports.

“The demand from the prosecutor’s office is that this image not be used anywhere in electronic platforms,” Kalin told a news conference in Ankara.

A number of Turkey’s leading Internet service providers implemented the ban in the afternoon of April 6, an official confirmed after widespread complaints about access problems to the social media websites.

YouTube.com ran the text of a court ruling on its site saying an “administration measure” had been implemented by the country’s telecommunications authority (TIB).

Google said it was working to restore service to the YouTube video-sharing site, which it owns. Twitter also said it was working to restore access for its users.

In the evening hours, ESB Secretary General Kent announced that Twitter had also complied with the ruling and its service will return shortly. At 7 p.m., Kent said YouTube also removed the content that the court deemed illegal, which led to the revocation of the ban on all global social media platforms.

Wife, children of slain prosecutor ‘upset’ over photos

Two militants with alleged links to the outlawed far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) took Mehmet Selim Kiraz, the prosecutor in the controversial case of the killing of Gezi victim Berkin Elvan, hostage in Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse on March 31.

Kiraz succumbed to his injuries in hospital after the eight-hour hostage drama, during which security forces killed the two captors.

Presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said a prosecutor had demanded the block on access to the social media sites because some media organisations had acted “as if they were spreading terrorist propaganda” in sharing the images of the hostage-taking.

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