Wikipedia has itself to blame for ban in Turkey: Minister
Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan has defended the ongoing ban on Wikipedia in Turkey, saying it should “blame itself for the ban.”
“As we are trying to deal with all this terrorism, [Wikipedia] makes us look like we work with terror groups,” Arslan said on Dec. 18 during debates on the 2018 budget.
He also noted that the website “has been used to insult Mustafa Kemal Atatürk,” the founder of the Republic of Turkey.
Access to Wikipedia has been blocked in Turkey since April 2017, with the telecommunications watchdog citing a law that allows it to ban access to websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security.
Wikipedia is just one of scores of websites banned in the country, while monitoring groups have accused the Turkish government of blocking or slowing access to social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook on numerous occasions in the past.
Minister Arslan was also asked about the ban on the left-wing sendika.org website, to which he responded that the ban would be kept in place.
“We placed a ban on sendika.org because the website served as a platform promoting the sexual abuse of children, vulgarity, prostitution and gambling. We also imposed a ban on the website for its insults against Atatürk,” he said.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy İbrahim Özdiş blasted Arslan’s remarks, saying that sendika.org is a publication that actually “tackles issues such as child abuse and corruption.”
“If this is what bothers you, spill it out,” Özdiş added.