Turkey Bans Google Services! But Why?

Turkey Bans Google Services! As shocking news isn’t it? Shocking yet true. The Telecommunications Communication Presidency of Turkey has released an official report. Accordingly, access to some of the Google IP (Internet Protocol) addresses has been blocked “because of legal reasons”.

The statement has refrained from mentioning whether the ban is a permanent change or a temporary sanction. If you’re in Turkey and you try to access to some of Google’s vast services, you would be answered with this statement: “Access to this site is banned by court order” .

The banned IP addresses include translate.google.com, books.google.com, Google-analytics.com, tools.google.com and docs.google.com. The ban began last June 4. It was previously known that Youtube was also banned in Turkey back in 2007 and has become permanent last May 2008. Once you access Youtube in Turkey you’ll get to read the following statement: “Access to www.youtube.com site has been suspended in accordance with decision no: 2007/384 dated 06.03.2007 of Istanbul First Criminal Peace Court,”. The video sharing site was banned for alleged insults against Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

What has been happening now to Google is similar to what has happened to Youtube before. The reason behind it was only addressed to be because of legal reasons. There is no specifications yet. Google has communicated with them to say it believes the ban is an “accident,” and it’s trying to investigate the reasons behind it.

“The difficulty accessing some Google services in Turkey appears to be linked to the ongoing ban on YouTube. We are working to get our services back up as soon as possible.” according to Google.

There has been reports that all these things boils down to tax issues. As to Bloomberg, Turkey’s communications minister has called on Google to register as a taxpayer in the country, saying this would hasten a move towards lifting the YouTube ban. “The company should open a representation,’ Transport and Communications Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m said on Tuesday. “YouTube is a taxpayer in 20 countries, and we want them to do the same in Turkey.”

Google in the other hand answered the issue an has claimed that it does not operate servers in Turkey, yet they are trying to resolve the problem with the government right now. “Google complies with tax law in every country in which it operates… We are currently in discussion with the Turkish authorities about this, and are confident we comply with Turkish law. We report profits in Turkey which are appropriate for the activities of our Turkish operations.” Google said.

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