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Turkey sets the price to lift the ban on YouTube and Google services

Friday, June 11, 2010

Turkish President Abdullah Gül does not support Internet censorship in his country.
Image: Agência Brasil.

Turkey’s Finance Ministry has given Google a tax demand of $18.6 million, and Transport and Communications Minister Binali Yıldırım called on Google to register as a taxpayer in the country to "help accelerate" the lifting of a ban on YouTube and Google services.

As The Register reported, access to search engine Google had been limited due to a block imposed on its IP set, and most of Google's online services had been inaccessible in Turkey since June 4. The IP addresses were shared between YouTube and other Google services. As International Business Times reports, YouTube has been banned in Turkey since 2008.

Accoring to HaberTurk, which is the Turkish version of Bloomberg, Yildirim said that "YouTube is a tax-payer in 20 countries, and we want them to do the same in Turkey." Turkey’s Finance Ministry has given Google a tax demand of $18.6 million. Yıldırım called on Google to register as a taxpayer in the country, and he said that it is a step that "would help accelerate the lifting of a ban on the company’s Youtube video-sharing website."

Reporters Without Borders condemned "the growing repercussions of Turkey’s censorship of YouTube" and quoted Turkey's President Abdullah Gul as saying "I do not want Turkey to be included among the countries that ban YouTube and prevent access to Google."

Several internet sites have recently been banned in Turkey. The Register reports that 3,700 websites are "blocked for arbitrary and political reasons" in Turkey, including foreign websites, sites aimed at the country's Kurdish minority, and gay sites according to The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Reporters Without Borders added Turkey to the list of "countries under surveillance" in its report on "Enemies of the Internet," issued March 2010.

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