Twitter gets court victory in Turkey but ban not lifted

SAN FRANCISCO -- Twitter said late Friday that it won a key victory for freedom of expression after a Turkish court reversed an order that forced the company to take down an account that accused a former government minister of corruption.

The Turkish government banned access to the social network after it objected to tweets by three accounts. Twitter agreed to take down two of the three accounts, but objected in court on the third.

Twitter said it would immediately reinstate the account, which was still available in other countries, just not in Turkey.

“This decision is an exceptionally strong win for freedom of expression, and it will be of paramount value for us in protecting Twitter’s users against other attempts at censorship in the future,” Twitter General Counsel Vijaya Gadde said.

The court ruling had no effect on the ban on Twitter in Turkey. 

“We will continue to fight to have the ban lifted on behalf of the millions of people in Turkey who have come to rely on Twitter as a vital communications tool,” Gadde wrote in a blog post.

Twitter, along with Turkish journalists, legal experts, citizens and others, is challenging the ban in several courts.

Turkey has also shut down access to Google's video-sharing website YouTube.


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