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Google fights against Turkey ban: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter all affected

Yesterday, Turkey blocked access to a number of websites including YouTube and Twitter. The ban came after the sites published images of a prosecutor being taken hostage at a court in Istanbul earlier in the week. Google has vowed to getting things back up and running, but it's not the same story for everyone.

While a block was also put in place on Facebook, the social network sidestepped the ban by agreeing to comply with a court ruling.

This is not the first time Mark Zuckerberg's site has bowed to pressure from Turkey. At the beginning of the year, despite previous claims to stand up for free speech, Facebook bowed to pressure to block pages that insulted or offended the Prophet Mohammad. Now it looks as though history is repeating itself.

Turkish news site Hürriyet reports that a total of 166 websites and individual pages have been blocked by the court order including a number of local newspaper sites. The sites stand accused of sharing terrorist propaganda after publishing photos of the siege carried out by DHKP-C. The group is regarded in many countries as a terrorist organisation and it took prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz hostage after taking over a courthouse.

Kiraz was seemingly targeted for his involvement in a case concerning the death of a boy in anti-government protests back in 2013. The photos in questions showed Kiraz - who was later killed - with a gun pointing at his head.

A Turkish official said:

"The wife and children of prosecutor Kiraz have been deeply upset. The images are everywhere. A request has been made to both Twitter and YouTube for the removal of the images and posts but they have not accepted it and no response has been given. That's why this decision has been taken through a court in Istanbul."

We contacted Googled for a comment and a YouTube spokesperson said:

"We are seeing reports that YouTube is blocked in Turkey and we're working to restore the service for users as soon as possible."

Twitter made a similar statement through, unsurprisingly, on Twitter:

But while YouTube and Twitter seem willing to fight to get services restored, Facebook caved in all but immediately. Within hours of being served with the court order that blocked Facebook in Turkey, the social network complied with the country's wishes and removed the photos.

We have also reached out to Facebook and Twitter, but we're yet to receive a response. We'll update this post as soon as we hear anything.

Photo credit: Neil Lang / Shutterstock