Turkish court rules against government’s Wikipedia ban


The highest court in Turkey has said a two-year ban imposed by the government on Wikipedia constitutes a violation of freedom of expression, it has been reported.

Turkey blocked the online encyclopedia in April 2017, accusing it of being part of a “smear campaign” against the country.

This followed the website’s refusal to remove content that allegedly portrayed Turkey as supporting Islamic State and other terrorist organisations.

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Access to Wikipedia and all its language editions was blocked under a law that allows the government to ban websites it deems pose a national security threat.

Wikipedia declined to remove content from the community-generated site, citing its opposition to censorship.

It petitioned the Constitutional Court in May 2017 after talks with Turkish officials and a challenge in lower courts failed.

The state-run Anadolu Agency reported that the Constitutional Court had decided the ban amounted to a violation of freedom of expression. The justices voted 10-6 in favour of Wikipedia, the agency said.

There was no immediate comment from the government and it was not immediately clear when access to the website would be restored.

Many Turkish people have found ways to circumvent the ban on Wikipedia and other blocked websites.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.