Wikipedia applies to Turkey’s Constitutional Court over access ban
ISTANBULInternet encyclopedia Wikipedia on May 9 applied to the Turkish Constitutional Court after its appeal against a ruling to block access to the website in Turkey was rejected by a local court.
The Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) stated on April 29 that it had blocked access to Wikipedia, citing a law allowing it to ban access to websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security.
The Ankara 1st Criminal Court of Peace later ordered the ban after Wikipedia’s administration refused to remove two pages claiming that Ankara channeled support to jihadists in Syria.
The application to the Constitutional Court comes four days after the same court rejected an appeal by the Wikimedia Foundation against the decision.
In its petition, the online encyclopedia referred to European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the Constitutional Court rulings on freedom of expression.
Wikipedia also noted that it was unlawful to block access to the whole platform just because of some content, adding that it was clearly a violation of ECHR and Constitutional Court decisions as well as the principle of proportionality.
The foundation had appealed against the ruling on the grounds that freedom of expression had been violated.
However, the court rejected the website’s appeal on May 5, saying freedom of expression can be “restricted in some cases” and citing the country’s ongoing state of emergency since the July 2016 failed coup attempt.
BTK head Ömer Fatih Sayan had previously also stated that it was impossible to grant access to Wikipedia “unless Turkey’s judicial decisions are implemented.”