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Turkey blocks access to Wikipedia

According to Reuters, Turkey has blocked Wikipedia, using a law designed to grant authorities the ability restrict content the country considers obscene or a threat to national security.

Access to the online encyclopedia appears to have been blocked at 8:00AM local time on Saturday morning, according to monitoring group Turkey Blocks, a project to “identify and validate reports of internet mass-censorship in Turkey.” It explained that the loss is consistent with “internet filters used to censor content in the country.”

 

THE INTERNET ACT GIVES AUTHORITIES BROAD POWERS TO REGULATE CONTENT

 

The country used an administrative order to block access to the website, based on Law No. 5651, which grants the government broad authority to regulate online content. According to the state-run media outlet Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Ministry said access has been blocked because the website hosted articles and comments that claimed Turkey was coordinating with terrorist groups. “Instead of coordinating against terrorism,” the Ministry says, “it has become part of an information source which is running a smear campaign against Turkey in the international arena.”

According to the Ministry, the government asked Wikipedia to remove the content, which refused, leading to the ban. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales posted his response on Twitter, stating that “access to information is a fundamental human right.”