Turkey reinstates YouTube ban over sex tape

In a development that cannot have been unexpected, Turkey has blocked access to YouTube... again.

What is unexpected is the reason - or maybe it's a pretext.

We reported on Sunday that Google had reinstated four videos that Turkish authorites had deemed so disrespectful to the memory of the country's founder Gemal Ataturk that they'd banned access to the YouTube from within its borders.

After some busybodies had the videos removed from YouTube's pages, claiming copyright infringement, Turkey lifted its ban on the site. Trouble was Google - owner of YouTube - could find no evidence of copyright infringement and bunged the videos back up again.

This was sure to miff the poor, sensitive Turks. Maybe it did, but the authorities have found a new reason to ban the site anyhow - sex.

It appears that former leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Deniz Baykal was caught en flagrante with a perky MP. Baykal resigned as party leader back in May, after a video, in which a bloke that looks very much like him is seen getting dressed next to an undressed woman who looks very much like an MP of the Turkish parliament, was posted on YouTube.

"This is not a sex tape, this is a conspiracy," Baykal said at the time.

A lawyer representing Baykal has now said that Turkish authorities had blocked the site in accordance with a court ruling yesterday, which branded the footage "obscene and immoral".

The ban has riled Turkey's president, Abdullah Gül who reckons the world has moved on from hitting the censorship button.

"The world has already become very transparent. No one can isolate their country with custom walls or through other means. Our self-confidence is immense. Although some problems may arise because of that transparency, Turkey will overcome all obstacles with its self-confidence and resolute stance. There is no need for fear. Restrictions do not bring about the desired outcome, anyway,” he said.

Turkey is thought to have blocked access to more than 5,000 web sites since passing laws to regulate the web in 2007.

This seems to be the video causing the kerfuffle.