Video website YouTube has been blocked in Turkey because of a recording described by the prime minister as “villainous”.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan was describing a voice recording of senior officials in the government talking about a potential military operation in Syria.

The audio uploaded onto YouTube has caused ‘a national security issue’, according to a spokesman from the prime minister’s office. The Turkish government is in talks with YouTube and the ban may be lifted if the audio in question is removed from the site.

Blocking access to Youtube comes a week after Erdogan criticised social networking sites, claiming they contain “all sorts of lies”. Speaking about a number of leaked voice recording on YouTube, the prime minister said the uploading was “dishonesty”.

The Turkish government’s clampdown on social media has been criticised abroad and within the country.

“This raises concerns. I am uneasy over these developments and my biggest concern is what will happen if this government wins the next election,” said Istanbul resident Robin Cetin.

“Their approach is political and they don’t care about what people think. This is an authoritarian ruling,” added Rabia, who also lives in Istanbul.

Last week Turkey’s government restricted access to social networking site Twitter, but the ban was later overturned by a court.

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