Report: YouTube Faces New Ban in Turkey

ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkey's telecommunications authority will again block access to YouTube unless the video-sharing site removes a sex video of a former opposition party leader, the state-run news agency reported Tuesday.

The threat of a new ban comes just three days after Turkey had ended a more than two-year ban on YouTube.

The Anatolia news agency said a court, considering a complaint by lawyers representing former opposition party leader Deniz Baykal, ruled that YouTube must be blocked and notified the telecommunications authority of its decision on Tuesday.

Telecommunications officials would now either ask YouTube to remove the video or block access to the site, the agency said.

Scott Rubin, a spokesman for Google, which owns YouTube, had no immediate comment on the possibility of a renewed ban, saying he had no information "beyond what I have also read or heard anecdotally."

Access to YouTube had been blocked in Turkey since May 2008 because of videos deemed insulting to the country's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Turkey restored access on Saturday, after the offending videos were removed.

It is a crime in Turkey to insult Ataturk, who founded Turkey in 1923 after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The country has implemented reforms as part of a bid to join the European Union, but still faces questions about its record on free expression.

Turkey began blocking access to websites in 2007, after parliament adopted a law against cyber crime in an effort to curb child porn, prevent the dissemination of terrorist propaganda and stamp out illegal gambling.

More than 6,000 sites have been banned in Turkey according to Engelli Web, a site that monitors blocked pages.

Former opposition leader Baykal resigned in May after the video showing him having an affair with his aide appeared on the Internet.