Victory for free expression in Turkish court
Two days ago, we filed petitions in Turkish court to challenge the access ban on Twitter, joining Turkish journalists and legal experts, Turkish citizens, and the international community. We also petitioned a court to overturn an order underlying the access ban that instructed us to take down an account with Tweets that accused a former government minister of corruption.
Today we are pleased to announce that a Turkish court overturned that take-down order on freedom of expression grounds.
From our English translation of the Turkish order (available here; the original Turkish version is here):
Freedom of speech and expression and the right to spread thoughts and opinions are fundamental rights and freedoms, which are under the Constitutional protection similar to all democratic countries. In this respect, everyone has the right to express their thoughts and in all possible ways they wish. No one may be forced to express their thoughts and opinion for any reason and purpose, and no one shall be censored or accused for that reason. Governmental bodies should avoid all acts and actions which restrict such freedom of people.
We have now immediately reversed the Country Withheld Content action previously taken to block access to that account in Turkey.
This decision is an exceptionally strong win for freedom of expression, and it will be of paramount value for us in protecting Twitter’s users against other attempts at censorship in the future.
While it represents a welcome outcome on one aspect of our legal efforts, this decision does not address the broader ban of Twitter in Turkey. We will continue to fight to have the ban lifted on behalf of the millions of people in Turkey who have come to rely on Twitter as a vital communications tool.