What's the Latest?
Turkey's highest judicial authority has ruled that shutting down Youtube--a policy advocated by the current Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan--is a violation of freedom of expression, a right guaranteed by the Turkish constitution. The court said it will immediately notify telecommunication companies that access to the site should be restored. "Early last month, the high court ordered Turkish authorities to stop blocking access to the micro-blogging site Twitter. The moves by authorities to block the social networks have provoked widespread criticism by Western governments and human-rights organizations."
What's the Big Idea?
The rise of the Internet as a democratic medium has paralleled Turkey's struggle for social democracy. "The restrictions on YouTube were imposed in late March after an audio recording of a government security meeting was leaked. In the recording, senior officials appeared to be discussing a possible military intervention in Syria." Sites like Youtube have greatly expanded the reach of individual rights such as the freedom of expression. For governments intent on keeping facts from the public and ruling with an iron first, such an expansion of rights represents a direct threat to their power.