European Court Of Human Rights Finds Turkey Violated Freedom Of Expression In YouTube Blocking01/12/2015 by Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.Ten sites allegedly disrespectful to Kemal Attaturk, founder of modern Turkey, were enough for the courts in Turkey to ban a whole platform – YouTube – from 2008 until the end of 2010. But a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights today declared the blanket blocking a violation of the right to receive and impart information freely, protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court according to a press release after the ruling “found in particular that the applicants, all academics in different universities, had been prevented from accessing YouTube for a lengthy period of time and that, as active users, and having regard to the circumstances of the case, they could legitimately claim that the blocking order in question had affected their right to receive and impart information and ideas.”Yaman Akdeniz, professor at the Faculty of Law of Istanbul Bilgi University, who filed the complaint together with his colleagues, Izmir lawyer Serkan Cengiz and Kerem Altıparmak from Ankara University, welcomed the Court ruling.Akdeniz wrote to Intellectual Property Watch in an initial reaction that the Court “recognized our user-based application which is a significant step forward not only in relation to Turkey but for all countries recognizing the jurisdiction of the European Court. Recognition of users having rights protected by Article 10 is very important and now beyond doubt.”The Court dismissed the Turkish Court’s ruling that Cengiz, Akdeniz and Altıparmak were not directly targeted by the blanket blocking and dismissed the appeals of the complainants against it. Instead, it stated that YouTube enabled access to “information of specific interest, particularly on political and social matters” and “was therefore an important source of communication.”Turkey will try to ignore the decision, Akdeniz told Intellectual Property Watch, and blocking practices in the country would not be ceased immediately. In fact, the Turkish legislator in an act of contempt of an earlier Strasbourg ruling (Yildirim v. Turkey, against Turkey) tightened the law No. 5651 earlier this year allowing for blanket blocking.The Court in today’s ruling did not follow the three complainants’ appeal to also deal with the blanket blocking in 5651 as it had not yet been in place when Akdeniz and his colleagues filed the complaint.“To be credible as part of its democratization progress, Turkey needs to abolish all blocking measure under Law No 5651,” Akdeniz said.[Update:] A bleak outlook on the situation of of freedom of expression and freedom of the media in Turkey was presented at a press conference today during which Reporters without Borders asked for the release of Cumhuriyet journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül and other journalists unjustly detained in the country.Also today, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Mónica Pinto, condemned in the strongest terms the recent killing of human rights lawyer and head of the Diyarbakir Bar Association Tahir Elçi, and called for a full independent investigation. Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Related"European Court Of Human Rights Finds Turkey Violated Freedom Of Expression In YouTube Blocking" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.