Google Sites closed down in Turkey

ISTANBUL – Following a court order access to “Google Sites”, a site where people can build their own website, has been blocked in Turkey, according to several Turkish media today. The reason for the closure? Google Sites would admit sites with content insulting to Atatürk, Turkey’s founding father.
Insulting Atatürk is forbidden by law in Turkey. An organisation that defends the teachings of Atatürk filed a complaint against Google Sites two months ago and asked the judge to close the site. This request has now been granted.
The closure follows that of video site Youtube more than a year ago and for the same reason. Critics say it’s also possible to block access to specific places on sites like Youtube and Google Sites, in stead of banning the whole site.
The closure of Google Sites seems to cause less uproar in Turkey than the closure of Youtube: the video site is much more popular. Prime Minister Erdogan stated some time ago that he, like millions of other Turks, still visits Youtube regularly using a program that gets around the blockade.

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