Gul slams YouTube ban, "naïve" curbs on freedom
President Abdullah Gul yesterday slammed Turkey's controversial YouTube ban, saying that it makes the country look bad on the international stage and represents a "naïve" view of freedom. Speaking at a panel at Istanbul's Ciragan Palace on Turkey's new international role and power, Gul decried the naïve conservative view that greater freedom makes Turkey weaker, saying that it is actually overprotective restrictions that weaken the nation. "When our judges who rule in the courts and the lawmakers who make laws decide to ban YouTube, do they really know exactly which countries do the same thing and the position they put Turkey in by doing this?" asked Gul. "You can hold conferences and make lots of investments, but your image can still be upside down." Gul added that Turkey needs to rethink its approach to such subjects as personal rights and freedoms, nationalism, secularism, equality, and justice.