Turkey blocks access to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, citing a law allowing it to ban access to websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security.
ANKARA, TURKEY (APRIL 29, 2017) (REUTERS) – Turkey has blocked the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the Turkish Telecommunications Watchdog (BTK) said on Saturday (April 29), citing a law allowing it to ban access to websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security.
In a written statement, the BTK said “an administrative measure has been taken” for Wikipedia.Org after technical analysis and legal consideration. The watchdog is required to submit such measures to a court within 24 hours. The court then has two days to decide whether the ban should be upheld.
A block on all language editions of the Wikipedia website was detected at 8:00 a.m. (0500GMT) on Saturday, a monitoring group called Turkey Blocks said on its website. When attempting to access the webpage using Turkish internet providers, users received a notice the site could not be reached and a “connection timed out” error.
The move is likely to further worry rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies, who say Ankara has sharply curtailed freedom of speech and other basic rights in a crackdown following a failed coup in 2016.