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Turkey blocks Twitter and Youtube over prosecutor picture

Turkey has blocked access to Twitter and YouTube over the publication of photographs of an Istanbul prosecutor held at gunpoint by far-left militants hours before he was killed in a shootout last week, officials said.

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said a prosecutor had sought the block on access to social media sites because some media organizations had acted "as if they were spreading terrorist propaganda" in sharing the images.

This has to do with the publishing of the prosecutor's picture. What happened in the aftermath (of the prosecutor's killing) is as grim as the incident itself.

The demand from the prosecutor's office is that this image not be used anywhere in electronic platforms.

– Ibrahim Kalin

Istanbul prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz died from his wounds last Tuesday after security forces stormed the office where members of the far-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) had taken him hostage.

The DHKP-C had published a picture of Kiraz with a gun to his head and said it would kill him unless its demands were met.

"A request has been made to both Twitter and YouTube for the removal of the images and posts but they have not accepted it and no response has been given. That's why this decision has been taken through a court in Istanbul," a senior Turkish official told Reuters.

Twitter and YouTube could not immediately be reached for comment.


YouTube could block Arctic Monkeys and Adele

YouTube said it will block videos from indie artists such as Arctic Monkeys and Adele, unless they sign up to agreements surrounding its new ad-free streaming music service.

Arctic Monkeys could see their music videos cut from YouTube. Credit: PA Images

Google, which owns YouTube, has been renegotiating contracts as it prepares to launch the music subscription service and has signed deals with the major labels.

But the internet giant is threatening to block independent artists from using the entire YouTube platform — free or paid — if they do not agree to the terms of the new streaming service.

Adele could also see her music videos disappear, unless she signs up to YouTube's new streaming service. Credit: PA Images

Robert Kyncl, YouTube's head of content and business operations, told the Financial Times that videos from independents could be blocked "in a matter of days," if new licenses were not negotiated.

YouTube's entry into the music subscription market comes after Amazon launched a similar service for its Prime members, and Apple bought online music service Beats Music.

Gangnam Style hits two billion views on YouTube

It is two billion and counting for Psy and his irrepressible Gangnam Style. The South Korean pop star's surprise hit has become the first YouTube video to surpass two billion views.

The unlikely viral star holds the record for most overall views and most views in a day with 38 million for his Gangnam Style follow-up Gentleman.

No other video comes close to Gangnam on the streaming service's list of top videos. Justin Bieber's Baby is the only other billion-plus video at 1.04 billion views.

Cute kid video Charlie Bit My Finger - Again! is a distant third with 711 million views.

Read: YouTube's most watched and top trending videos in 2013 revealed

Turkish court rules YouTube block is violation of rights

The constitutional court in Turkey has ruled that a block on access to YouTube is a violation of rights, local media have reported. The block was imposed by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government two months ago.

Turkey blocked access to YouTube as a "precaution" officials said. Credit: Reuters

Blocks on access to YouTube and Twitter were imposed after audio recordings, purportedly revealing corruption in Erdogan's inner circle, were leaked on the sites. The block on access to Twitter was lifted in April.

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