Following a ban on Twitter on March 20, the Turkish government banned access to YouTube after audio of a confidential conversation among top government officials leaked Thursday, March 27.
For several weeks, social media and broadcast stations have been the main source of the leaked recordings of phone calls between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other members of the government.
The ban against YouTube was evoked after the government banned Twitter as a result of similar leaks. Although neither website can be accessed in Turkey, many citizens are utilizing technology like Google DNS in order to hide their location when getting online. According to TwitTurk, a site used to record Turkish Twitter data, over 500,000 tweets were posted within 12 hours of the block.
The YouTube block was a response to the leak of a conversation between Erdogan and other officials pertaining to the possibility of going to war with Syria. Unlike the other recordings, which seem to emanate from recorded phone calls, experts have analyzed that this audio was recorded from a microphone planted in the room.
Representatives from the Turkish government have stated that social media platforms have been utilized to “spread false information and lies,” according to CNN. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry released a statement last Thursday, saying the leaked conversations “are a despicable attack, an act of espionage and a very serious crime against the national security of Turkey.”
Editor’s Note: Information from CNN and Al Jazeera was used in this report.