[JURIST] A Turkish official said Thursday that the government has lifted a ban on Twitter [corporate website] following a Constitutional Court [official website, in Turkish] ruling Wednesday. The court stated that the ban violated [Al Jazeera report] both individual rights as well as the freedom of expression. This decision came a week after an Istanbul court ruled [JURIST report] against Turkey’s ban on the website, overturning an order that the social media website shut down an account accusing the government of corruption. Access to Twitter was suspended in the country a week earlier by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], for the website’s failure to remove allegations of government corruption. The specific account that was ordered to be removed accuses former Transport Minister Binali Yildirim of corruption.
Internet freedom remains a controversial issue around the world, garnering significant attention over the past few years. Turkish President Abdullah Gul [BBC profile] approved legislation [JURIST report] in February tightening internet restrictions and allowing the government to block websites without court approval. In January 2013 a Canadian human rights group reported [JURIST report] that a number of nations are using American-made Internet surveillance technology to censor content and track citizens. China adopted new restrictions [JURIST report] on Internet service providers (ISPs) in December 2012, requiring ISPs to monitor and report online content found to be illegal. In July of the same year, the UN Human Rights Council passed [JURIST report] its first resolution to protect the free speech of individuals online.