YouTube ban over insult to Ataturk lifted

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Turkey has lifted its ban on the video-sharing website YouTube as material deemed to be insulting to Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk has been removed, the Turkish state-run news agency Anatolian reported on Saturday.

An Ankara court ruled that the site, blocked since May 2008, should be now freely accessible to Turkish users.

The ban was widely criticised, even by Turkey's President Abdullah Gul who used his Twitter page to condemn the move and said he had asked responsible institutions for a solution.

Under the country's penal code it is an offence to insult the Turkish nation and its institutions.

YouTube said in a statement on Saturday: "We've received reports that some users in Turkey are once again able to access YouTube... We want to be clear that a third party, not YouTube, has apparently removed some of the videos that have caused the blocking of YouTube in Turkey using our automated copyright complaint process."