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Erdogan challenges social media in top Turkish court

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parlia
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parlia

By Orhan Coskun

ANKARA (Reuters) - Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan applied to Turkey's constitutional court on Friday to challenge the alleged violation of his and his family's rights by social media, a senior official in his office told Reuters.

Erdogan's government blocked Twitter and YouTube in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings, purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle, were leaked on their sites.

The Twitter block was lifted earlier this month after the constitutional court ruled that it breached freedom of expression, a decision Erdogan has since said was wrong and should be overturned. YouTube remains blocked in Turkey.

The senior official said Erdogan had made the application to the constitutional court via his lawyer in a complaint over the failure to implement court rulings requesting the removal of content violating his rights. The prime minister was seeking 50,000 lira ($23,500) compensation.

Turkish officials held talks with a delegation from Twitter in Ankara this week to try to resolve the dispute. But there was no immediate deal to open a Twitter office in Turkey or for it to pay Turkish tax, two of Ankara's key requests.

Access to Twitter was blocked on March 21 in the run-up to local elections to stem a stream of leaked wiretapped recordings. Erdogan said he would "root out" the network.

(Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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