Wikipedia banned in Turkey for refusing to remove content about links to Syrian civil war: Court
An Ankara court ordered to ban Wikipedia in Turkey after the site’s administration refused to remove two English language pages which claimed that Turkey channeled support to jihadists in Syria, daily Habertürk reported on May 1.
The court’s justified decision to ban Wikipedia, the world’s largest online encyclopedia, was published on April 30. Wikipedia will become accessible only if the administration agrees to remove the content, according to the decision.
It also claimed that such access ban decisions had been made in European countries before.
“A ban has been implemented on the website ‘www.wikipedia.org,’ based on the Law No. 5651,” the decision stated.
Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, expressed support for the Turkish people after the ban through his Twitter account.
“Access to information is a fundamental human right. Turkish people I will always stand with you to fight for this right,” he said.
Turkey’s telecommunications watchdog announced that the country had blocked access to Wikipedia on April 29, citing the law allowing it to ban access to websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security.
“After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law No. 5651, an administrative measure has been taken for this website [wikipedia.org],” the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) said in a statement on its website.
State-run Anadolu Agency, quoting the Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Ministry, reported on April 29 that the site was blocked for “becoming an information source acting with groups conducting a smear campaign against Turkey in the international arena.”
“Instead of coordinating against terrorism, it has become part of an information source that it is running a smear campaign against Turkey in the international arena,” Anadolu Agency quoted the ministry as saying in a statement.
The agency said officials had warned Wikipedia to remove content linking Turkey to terror groups but the site “persistently” did not.