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VKontakte social network denies being blocked in Turkey

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Vladislav Tsyplukhin, press secretary of Russia's VKontakte social-networking website, has denied reports that the site has being blocked in Turkey, ITAR-TASS reports.

The official said that complaints received from some users in Turkey stating that the Second Court of Istanbul blocks the website cannot give conclusions that all other users lack access. There are many providers in the country, Tsyplukhin reminds.

Turkish newspaper Sabah reported Tuesday, that the Turkish authorities have blocked access to Russian social networking Web site Vkontakte under a ruling by the Second Civil Court of Istanbul.

The reason behind the court’s decision issued on May 2 was not disclosed.

Authorities did not provide any official comments.

Sabah said that the court’s decision could have a negative impact on the country’s tourism sector as around 4 million Russians were expected to visit Turkey as tourists in 2012.

The Turkish newspaper was also saying, that the ban cuts off a means for Russian guests and their families to communicate with each other and cited the court’s decision “a trap for tourists.”

“On the one hand, there is the government’s vision of abolishing visas from Russia,” wrote Sabah and continued to say, that “on the other hand, there are those who forbid our Russian guests access to social networking sites. They (Russian tourists) complain and the Turkish tourism industry has already noticed cancellations of bookings.”

During an earlier occurrence, Turkish authorities had repeatedly blocked access to the video-hosting Web site YouTube and many other Web sites due to offensive and forbidden materials.

Vkontakte is the Russia’s largest social network comprising more than 100 million users.

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