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After Blocking Twitter, Turkey Moves To Stop YouTube

A man tries to get connected to YouTube with his tablet at a cafe in Istanbul on Thursday.
Osman Orsal
A man tries to get connected to YouTube with his tablet at a cafe in Istanbul on Thursday.

Authorities in Turkey are reportedly going ahead with a ban on access to YouTube days after a similar move in the country to block Twitter.

The Turkish telecommunications authority TIB is quoted in Turkish state media as saying it has taken an "administrative measure" against YouTube.

The news follows earlier reports that a recording, allegedly of a meeting among top Turkish officials discussing military intervention in Syria, was posted on YouTube.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday lashed out against the post:

"They even leaked a national security meeting," he told a crowd of supporters in Diyarbakir. "This is villainous, this is dishonesty.

"Who are you serving by doing audio surveillance of such an important meeting?" Erdogan said as he campaigned ahead of March 30 elections.

Reuters quotes Google Inc, which owns YouTube, as saying it's looking into reports that Turkish users are unable to access the video-sharing site.

"There is no technical issue on our side and we're looking into the situation," a Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

As we reported at the time, Turkey's government moved to shut down access to Twitter last week, which was quickly circumvented by a text-to-tweet function. The hashtag #TwitterblockedinTurkey quickly went viral upon news of the ban, and even the country's own president tweeted his disdain.

In the wake of the latest reports, a new hastag, #youtubeblockedinturkey, has sprung up.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.