Turkey blocks access to Wikipedia over jihadist support references

By bne IntelliNews May 2, 2017

An Ankara court on April 29 blocked access to online encyclopaedia Wikipedia. By May 2, the site was still inaccessible.

The country’s telecommunications watchdog (BTK) announced the ban, citing a law allowing it to ban access to websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

The court ordered the ban after the site’s administrator refused to remove two English-language pages which claimed that Turkey supports jihadists in Syria, according to the newspaper.

Turkey’s Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Ministry said that the site was blocked for “becoming an information source acting with groups conducting a smear campaign against Turkey in the international arena”, Hurriyet also reported.

Wikipedia will become accessible in Turkey if the online encyclopaedia removes the content in question, officials said.

The Ankara government, meanwhile, issued two new decrees on April 30, purging nearly 4,000 civil servants while reinstating 236 people to their jobs.

More than 40,000 have been sacked or suspended from their duties since the failed July 15 coup attempt last year over their alleged links to the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen whom the government says was responsible for the botched putsch.

Last week, 9,103 police officers were also suspended from duty and more than 1,000 people were detained over alleged connections to the Gulenist network.

Turkey remains in a state of emergency.

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