By Nick Butler

The controversial ban on Twitter has been lifted ahead of the SportAccord Convention today ©AFP/Getty ImagesApril 3 - Turkish authorities have lifted a ban on Twitter in a welcome boost ahead of delegates arriving for the SportAccord Convention in the southern resort of Belek/Antalya this weekend.

This follows the ruling of the Turkish Constitutional Court that the ban marks a breach of freedom of expression.

Last month, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed to "wipe out Twitter" after users spread allegations of corruption ahead of the local elections last Sunday (March 30) in which Erdogan's Islamist-rooted Justice and Development (AK) Party won resoundingly.

But users across the country found many ways of circumventing the prohibition, which was widely criticised and ridiculed, and the decision has harmed Erdoğan's already struggling personal image both in Turkey and elsewhere in the world.

The Government also banned access to YouTube in Turkey, after a video on the website appeared to reveal top officials discussing how to stage an undercover attack inside Syria, and this second ban remains in operation.

The ban formed a key part of anti-Government protests during the local elections in Turkey last Sunday ©AFP/Getty ImagesThe ban formed a key part of anti-Government protests during the local elections in Turkey last Sunday ©AFP/Getty Images

Following the court's decision Turkey's President Abdullah Gül, who has opposed the bans, claimed both websites should be made available in the country once more, while the United States State Department also urged the Government to respect the decision of the court and end the block.

Within minutes of the ban being lifted, the social website was flooded with messages supporting the decision, including one user saying "Welcome back to Twitter, Turkey" while the US-founded website itself said in a tweet that it welcomed the ruling.

Given the reliance on social media and networking, the news is a boost for the organises of the SportAccord International Convention, who were investigating the possibility of setting up a virtual private network at the venue as a means to get around the ban.

Nis Hatt, managing director of SportAccord Convention, also insisted it would go ahead as normal "regardless of what the state of play is" in Turkey.

The Convention is due to begin on Sunday (April 6) and continues until April 11.

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