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Twitter and Youtube Blocked in Turkey after Hostage Photo

Turkey has blocked access to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube after the sites published photos last week of a prosecutor who had been taken hostage with a gun to his head, Turkish local media, Hurriyet reported on Monday.

An official confirmed to itslocal pressthat the country’s leading Internet service providers had implemented the ban on the social media sites.

A total of 166 websites that published the photo of the prosecutor, who was eventually killed in a raid to free him, were ordered by a Turkish court to be blocked.

Turkey temporarily blocked Twitter and YouTube in the run-up to local elections in March 2014, after audio recordings purportedly showing corruption in then-Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s inner circle were leaked on their sites. That decision caused a public uproar and drew heavy international criticism.

The blocks come less than a week after an Istanbul prosecutor died after security forces stormed the office where members of a far-left group had taken him hostage.

Turkey filed over five times more content removal requests to Twitter than any other country in the second half of 2014, data published in February by the micro-blogging site showed. Last year, Turkey tightened laws allowing sites to be blocked by the authorities more easily.

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