ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey's Constitutional Court annulled on Thursday part of a law tightening government control of the Internet and expanding the powers of the telecoms authority, local media reported.
The law, passed by parliament last month, had broadened the powers of telecoms authority TIB to block web pages without prior court orders, prompting public anger and raising concerns about freedom of speech.
TIB was able to block sites if deemed necessary for matters of "national security, the restoration of public order and the prevention of crimes", further extending government control over the Internet.
But the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) appealed to the Constitutional Court to have the legislation overturned.
On Thursday, the court declared invalid TIB's authority to block web sites in four hours without prior court orders on the grounds that it violated the Constitution, local media reports said.
The government temporarily blocked access to Twitter in March after recordings allegedly demonstrating President Tayyip Erdogan, who was prime minister at that time, and his inner circle's links to a corruption scandal. The move led to an outcry and drew international condemnation.
Erdogan cast the scandal as a plot orchestrated by his ally-turned-foe, U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom he accuses of wielding undue influence in the police and the judiciary.
Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Hugh Lawson