Turkey Blocks YouTube, Inadvertently Blocks Google Services

By: Sarah Hamdi on 8 June 2010

Turkish internet users have been tweeting that that they have been unable to access some Google Services over the past few days, using the hashtag #TurkeyCensorGoogle. Tweeters such as @xceptn have been speculating that this is because their Internet Service Providers are preventing them access, (re)tweeting this message:

"According to the Turkish ISP's, some of the Google's services are banned in Turkey. Please RT!! #TurkeyCensorGoogle"

These reports have been confirmed by Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders), who released a statement noting that on June 4th, the Turkish High Council for Telecommunications (TIB) requested that ISPs block additional YouTube-related IP addresses. YouTube was first blocked by Turkey in 2007, then again in 2008 until present.

According to Dr.Yaman Akdeniz's blog (Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law; Istanbul Bilgi University), the actions of the High Council on June 4th have resulted in these Google services being inadvertently blocked and/or users experiencing very slow access:

Google Code, Google Pages, Google Video, Google Translate, Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Books, Google Chrome, Sketchup, Froogle, Google Labs, Google Mars, Google Moon, Google Notebook, Google Toolbar, Google Browsersync, Google Catalog, Google Codesearch, Google Directory, Google Earth, Google Groups, Google Shopping, Google Sky, Google Support, Google Tools, Google Mobile, Google Answers, and Google Analytics.

Reporters Sans Frontières reports Google's official statement about the issue: “[Google has] received reports that some Google applications cannot be accessed in Turkey. The difficulty (...) appears to be linked to the ongoing ban on YouTube. We are working to get our services back up as soon as possible" but it is not clear when or if Turkish users will get access to these services.