Turkish Court Lifts Ban on YouTube For Insulting Kemal Ataturk

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Turkish officials reported today that a court had lifted its two-day-old ban on YouTube, a ban it had imposed Wednesday because of concerns over videos posted there that allegedly were insulting to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

So for those of you out there putting the finishing touches on your anti-Ataturk video, today is your lucky day.

It is illegal in Turkey to insult Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, even though he has been dead since 1938.  Mustafa Kemal was a war hero, the founder of modern Turkey, and its first president.  His influence on the country was so profound that he was given the name "Ataturk" in 1934, which means "Father of the Turks," even though the Turks had been around for thousands of years.

Here he is wearing a hat.

Kemal and İsmet before the Battle of Dumlupınar
Ataturk (L) and some other Turk (R).

They take him very seriously in Turkey, but don’t like him much in Greece, partly due to a war between Turkey and Greece in the early 1920s.  Turkey won, but Greeks appear to be getting some revenge by making fun of Ataturk on YouTube.  Turkish media said that a "virtual war" had broken out, with Turks and Greeks both posting videos mocking each other.  The last straw was a video that allegedly questioned the sexuality of Ataturk and "the Turkish people."  That got the plug pulled on Wednesday.

The ban was lifted today.  The court’s reasoning was not given, though it had previously said it would lift the ban as soon as the videos insulting Ataturk were removed.

Link: AP via FindLaw.com
Link: New York Times