An administrative court in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, issued a temporary injunction Wednesday ordering the country's telecommunication authority (TIB) [official website; in Turkish] to lift its ban on the use of the social media website Twitter [corporate website]. The ban on Twitter was imposed [JURIST report] last week under orders from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] on the grounds that the social media site had failed to remove allegations of government corruption from the site. Materials that he wanted removed included leaked audio recordings [recordings, in Turkish] of a voice, resembling Erdogan's, instructng his son to dispose of large amounts of money during a police search. Turkey's Constitutional Court [official website], the nation's highest court, is expected [Al Jazeera report] to further investigate the ban.
Internet freedom remains a controversial issue around the world and has garnered attention over the past few years. Last month, Turkish President Abdullah Gul [official website], approved legislation that heightened Internet restrictions [JURIST report] by granting the country's telecommunications authority the ability to block websites or remove content without a court's approval. Last year a Canadian human rights group unveiled research [JURIST report] indicating that a number of nations are using American-made Internet surveillance technology which could be used to censor content and track their citizens. In 2012, the UN Human Rights Council passed its first-ever resolution to protect free Internet speech [JURIST report], which was approved by all 47 members of the council, including China and Cuba, which have been criticized for limiting Internet freedom.