After YouTube, Turkey moves to ban video sharing site Vimeo

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Turkish courts have famously banned video sharing juggernaut YouTube several times since March 2007. The site still isn’t accessible, despite the fact that Turkey’s president Abdullah Gül used his Twitter account last June to express disapproval of the country’s blocking of YouTube. Gül at the time said he had instructed officials to find legal ways of allowing access.

But now we’re getting multiple tips about Turkey imposing a new ban on video sharing site Vimeo (an IAC company), and chatter on Twitter suggests this is in fact the case – see #censorshipinturkey and #vimeo for more.

Ironically, Vimeo earlier this month announced the shortlist of videos from its first international Vimeo Awards, which the company organizes to find some of the most creative and innovative video productions online. You guessed it, one of the finalists was actually a video made by a Turkish user.

Arda Kutsal of Webrazzi, our main TechCrunch Europe contributor in Turkey, tells us:

“We don’t know the reason but it may be due to copyright infringement or a video insulting a person. It is just banned as a precaution for now. If Vimeo contacts the authorities and removes the problem content, then the site can be unbanned in 1-10 days.”

We’re updating this post as we learn more.

Update: Murat Guzel, Editor in Chief of PC Extra Magazine checks in:

Vimeo has been blocked for precautional purpuses upon request of a Turkish court, which is part of an ongoing investigation held by the Ankara Prosecution Office. The investigation is related to a video which was published on, claimed to be recorded secretly via a hidden camera and claimed to belong to a member of the parliament and another person, in which this video is in an act of violating personal life/rights via online or offline media.

Whether so called victim of this video are either a member of the parliament or an ordinary citizen, laws apply for every one of us. Even our president Abdullah Gul has criticised this specific law about banning sites two times in the last 7 days, laws can not change from today to tomorrow.

Our current laws strictly forbids acts of violating personal life, although our judges reluctantly give orders to ban sites which contain materials that contain such videos violating our laws.

I was lucky to reach the attorney who signed this precautional banning order and got the reason behind it, as I’ve outlined briefly above.

(click for large version)

(Top image via ntvmsnbc, screenshot courtesy of @kitiarauthmatar)

  • TurkeyNotInEU

    And this is why Turkey is still far, very far, away from entering the EU. The people should have the freedom to waste time on YouTube and Vimeo.

    • Murat

      Oh shut up about EU already. The overwhelming majority in Turkey doesn’t want to join the EU anyway. It’s just an excuse for governments to push some reforms despite opposition from the army. That is all.

      Turkey is just too big, both culturally and historically to be cramped in the narrow EU mindset. Despite EU we can equally understand West and East. Why whould we want to be locked in being only European ?

      We in Turkey are well aware that EU and Turkey can be good friends but that is all.

      • Michael

        “Despite EU we can equally understand West”
        Yes, what the article is talking about really proves this right?

        “We in Turkey are well aware that EU and Turkey can be good friends but that is all”
        Be friends by saying they’re narrow-minded…

      • Mark

        “Despite EU we can equally understand West and East.”

        Yes because censorship is VERY Western. /sarcasm

      • Jay

        You should only talk good things about EU don’t you understand? They would like to look superior to every other continent and race.

    • Svart

      Yeah, Turkey is fine where it is. The European Union doesn’t need another ball and chain.
      If only the Turks could keep their “Eastern values” outside of Europe…

    • matama

      keep your eu, we dont want it. we just need rules and system. we getting better faster, our economy is becoming one of the biggest, people are getting more and more educated, we are young, we basically dont need you. i am just waiting to see you when you get retired and there is not enough young people to feed you. oww you may move some africans like your grandfathers did but trust me they are not gonna be slaves anymore. so good luck with your lovely , crumbled, shortsighted, old eu.

  • Brian

    it poses the question. Does Turkey really want to be a member of the European Community?
    If so the powers that be, in this case, have to change their attitude and view of the world.

    • Murat

      *sigh* Could you take your EU and “European values” with you and trap shut about it already?

      Sure Turkey wants to be closer friends with EU but Turkey is much more than that, contrary to being only European and West.

      So please, thanks but you can keep your EU.

      • Gladly

        Then could you please stop all the f*(&ing Turks from emigrating (either legally or otherwise) to EU states? They’re a drain on the system, refuse to integrate, and generally contribute to the degradation of society.

      • matama

        well less and less people emigrating, actually even some people in there started to move back. more important find someone to clean your shit in there, no one who is well educated really wanna move there anymore(usa another story)

  • Borastronaut

    People really should stop connecting every case like this to Turkey’s EU membership. Of course they related to each other but these these kind of “cultural” censorships are more important than a EU membership discussion and must be dealt individually.

  • Mikey P

    This may be the US in the future of COICA passes. Hurray.

  • Marfi


  • Marfi

    I think the shortlisted video in question is:

    The Triangle: by Onur Senturk cat: Motion Graphics

  • abracadabra

    Before law! Evreybody has to be respectful internet law. We hope vimeo will corrects this error. Sad!

  • Hasan

    It’s banned by a court due to a hidden shot ( belonging an opposing politician.

    • Hasan

      His name is Mehmet Akif Hamzacebi, a member of CHP ( Republic’s Public Party ) which is a member of Socialist International!

  • BoscoH

    Turkey’s President gets a giant “ata turk!” for opposing cencorship. Hay-Oh!

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  • foxybeads

    in china,the youtube and vimeo is banned. what a pity to me.

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  • Armenian Genocide Survivor

    That is because Turkey is afraid of its own bloody past…

  • devrim

    turkey is not this or that but you are. with your comments.

  • samet

    Well, my question to Abdulla Gul is why aren’t you taking any action then? His party is ruling the country for almost 10 years. If they were upset about that, they should have done something already. Instead, they are now arresting authors, journalists, academicians who stand against their radical ideas. Did you know that they are hunting the people who protest Abdulla Gul and Tayyip Erdogan during the FIBA 2010 Medal Ceremony. Strange things are happening in Turkey.

  • homie

    Just an advice for Turkey citizen: USE A VPN!!!!

    To bypass all the restrictions from your gouvernement, use a cheap personal VPN service. There a list of VPN providers all over the world:

    Choose an IP in US and you will be able to get an access to Youtube, Vimeo, Hulu, …

  • Vimeo: banned in Turkey « Birologue

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  • Berk Gün

    Oh it’s getting worse everyday. Look at Mr. Gül (president), his goverment created this law and started to ban websites before any ruling but now he is telling everyone that there must be a solution. So why don’t you act?

    Recep T. Erdoğan (Prime Ministers) says that he can access to youtube, there are ways to access so are they kidding?

    These guys created this law, one of them says that he is against it and the other one telling illegal ways to access banned sites..

    Oh it must be a joke really…
    Whatever i got VPN :P

    P.S. Why should we discuss EU or Armenians accusations in every topic about Turkey. Just give it some break.

  • Ghandi

    I have to throw in a comment here to remind people that for the Europeans commenting here we just see Turkey through the people of Turkish origin living in our countries, hence we stereo type them (Low income, poorly educated, gang orientated, religiously extreme) so all the bad things. For you Turkish in Turkey, you are shocked by this as you are the educated ones who are more similar to the Europeans commenting here than you are of your expats in the EU countries. So, both sides need to put it all in perspective as not all Germans are fat sausage eaters, and not all Americans have a gun and bash the bible!

    • Dude

      Oh yeah, and think if the set from Jerry Springer moved to your country and thats all you thought Americans were like :)

  • abde salame from morocco

    turkey is better without eu !
    Go Go Turkey

    • SomeGuy

      …and the EU is better without Turkey.

      • Mikey P

        But Thanksgiving is better with turkey!

  • Ufuk


  • Mehmet

    the subject is not about Turkey’s Eu application or anything else, humans must have right to reach internet whatever the page is, its very strange and sad to be banned by goverment for websites, it can include wrong materials. its easy to make a removal request.

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  • Boris Loukanov

    “Dont kill the messenger!”:-) “The fault” is not of “the channel”…

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