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Erdogan forced to back down by courts: Turkey lifts ban on Twitter

The main court in the Turkey's capital, Ankara, has ordered the suspension of Prime Minister Erdoğan's ban on Twitter. Once the court informs the country's telecommunication authority, the TIB, the ban is expected to be officially lifted.

As of the time of writing, however, Twitter is still inaccessible in Turkey, but the TIB has a maximum 30 days to comply with the court's ruling.

Erdoğan promisedon Friday of last week to "wipe out Twitter," claiming "They will see the Turkish republic's strength."

It took only hours for the hashtags #TwitterisblockedinTurkey,#TurkeyblockedTwitter and #OccupyTwitter to begin trending worldwide.

While the block is expected to be lifted soon, the court has only issued a temporary injunction against the ban too, so access may not remain restored, should another decision.

The block was the subject of widespread protests, and was condemned by the United States and United Nations Human Rights office, among others.

"This order causes us concern," the main court's general counsel, Vijaya Gadde, said in a statement. "Political speech is among the most important speech, especially when it concerns possible government corruption."

At a rally ahead of crucial local elections on Sunday, Prime Minister Erdoğan was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying: "I don't understand how people of good sense could defend this Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. There are all kinds of lies there."

"The millions of people in Turkey who turn to Twitter to make their voices heard are being kept from doing just that," Ms Gadde said.

"There are no legal grounds for the blocking of our service in Turkey," she added.