Turkey blocks all access to Wikipedia

Turkish authorities deemed Wikipedia to be a threat to national security

Turkey has blocked all access to Wikipedia in the country. 

The country has used a law allowing it to ban sites deemed obscene or a threat to national security.

Turkish media said the ban was imposed because Wikipedia had failed to remove content promoting terror and linking Turkey to terror groups.

A formal court order is expected to follow in the next couple of days, but as of yet there is no indication as to when the ban might be removed. 

The Turkey Blocks monitoring group, which watches internet restrictions in the country, said in a statement that a block affecting all language editions of the website in Turkey was detected this morning after an administrative order by the Turkish authorities. 

Residents in Istanbul were unable to access any pages of Wikipedia on Saturday morning without using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). 

Turkey Blocks said that "The loss of availability is consistent with internet filters used to censor content in the country."

Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) said "After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651, an administrative measure has been taken for this website wikipedia.org."

Freedom of speech 

Human rights groups are worried about the recent crackdown on freedom of speech. Wikipedia is the latest site to be banned by Turkish authorities.

The country has become notorious over the last years for temporarily blocking access to popular sites, including Facebook and Twitter, in the wake of major events such as mass protests or terror attacks.

Back in March 2014, YouTube was banned for several months in Turkey after the site was used to broadcast purported footage of a security meeting on Syria.