TURKEY – Wikipedia was blocked in Turkey on Saturday morning (29 April 2017) by the Turkish authorities.
Turkey Blocks, an independent digital research organization that monitors internet access restrictions in Turkey, reported that all language versions of Wikipedia had been blocked in Turkey. “The loss of availability is consistent with internet filters used to censor content in the country,” Turkey Blocks said. The organization added that an administrative order was usually followed by a full court order.
No reason was given by Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority which simply stated: “After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651 (governing the internet), an administrative measure has been taken for this website.”
As of 29 April 2017 Wikipedia is readable but not editable in Turkey. Users report they can only access Wikipedia using tools such as VPNs.
Turkish News source Anadolu Agency reports that the blockage was due to its articles and comments showing Turkey in coordination and aligned with various terrorist groups. The Turkish Government warned Wikipedia to remove the offending content but the non-profit encyclopedia refused. They said the access ban would be lifted if Wikipedia meets Turkey’s demands.
In a tweet, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales expressed his support for those criticizing the decision as censorship, saying, “Access to information is a fundamental human right. Turkish people, I will always stand with you to fight for this right.”
Republican People’s Party parliamentarians Eren Erdem states that the ban puts “Turkey in line with North Korea”.
The Wikimedia Foundation which runs Wikipedia states that it is committed to keeping the site available in Turkey and that it’s pushing for a “judicial review” of the decision.