ANKARA: Turkey's top court ruled on Thursday that a blanket ban on the popular video-sharing site YouTube violated individual rights and freedoms, the prime minister's office said.
YouTube has been banned in Turkey since March 27 after the site was used to spread audio recordings in which the voices of senior government, military and intelligence officials can be heard weighing possible military action inside war-torn Syria.
The decision was in response to individual complaints to the constitutional court on the grounds of a breach of rights, the PM's office said.
The court decision is "binding" and access to YouTube could be granted in the coming hours, the private NTV television channel reported.
Last month, the government said it would keep its block on YouTube in place despite two separate courts ordering the ban be lifted.
In March, Turkey also blocked Twitter after it was used to spread a spate of anonymous leaks implicating Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his inner circle in corruption allegations.
But the government had to comply with a Constitutional Court ruling that found the ban on the microblogging site violated free speech.
The Internet bans ahead of March 30 local elections -- in which Erdogan's ruling party scored a stunning victory -- earned Turkey strong rebuke from rights groups deploring the curbs as a setback to freedom of expression in the country that hopes to join the EU. (AFP)