The mobile ride-share application Uber became available to users in Turkey once again on Jan. 13, bringing into effect a December court ruling that reversed the ban on the application on the grounds that the service did not present unjust competition to taxis in Istanbul.
The application and website became available again as Turkey's Information Technologies and Communication Agency (BTK) lifted an access ban in compliance with the court order.
The reversal of the ban in December was surprising as it contradicts a 2019 statement from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who said that Uber cars were like "pirate cabs," implying that they were illegal, despite some 14,500 taxi drivers using it in Istanbul alone.
"Hello again to all Istanbulites!" Uber Turkey tweeted on Jan. 13.
Uber’e Türkiye’de uygulanan erişim engeli mahkeme kararına uygun olarak bugün itibariyle resmen kaldırıldı! Tüm İstanbullular’a tekrar merhaba! #uberyeniden— Uber Türkiye (@Uber_Turkiye) January 13, 2021
Uber's XL service remains banned, as the court reversal of the ban still states that the feature presents unjust competition to cabs, which charge a flat rate regardless the size of the vehicle, unlike Uber XL.