Turkish authorities on Saturday blocked online free encyclopedia Wikipedia in the country, citing administrative measures. According to a report in the BBC, it was not initially clear why the ban had been imposed. Also Read - Safer Internet Day 2021: Here's how you can ensure your online securityAlso Read - Mobile internet services suspended on Delhi borders till February 2
“After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651, an administrative measure has been taken for this website,” Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority was quoted as saying.
However, no particular reason was given for the ban. The website was inaccessible from 10:30 AM IST by order of the Turkish authorities. However, some people in Istanbul accessed Wikipedia pages using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). According to Turkish media, the provisional order would need to be backed by a full court ruling in the next few days.
It is not the first time that Turkish authorities have censored onternet. In the past, when mass protests and terror attacks in Turkey were rampant, the country witnessed a temporary ban on popular social media sites including Facebook and Twitter. But the government had then denied censoring the internet, saying the outage was a result of spikes in usage after major events. ALSO READ: Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales launches Wikitribune portal to fight fake news
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently won a controversial referendum on increasing his powers, that left the country divided. People took to social media after the news of the Wikipedia ban, with some observers speculating that the ban was a bid to suppress criticism on Erdogan’s Wikipedia page. ALSO READ: Facebook fake news: If Wikipedia is democratic, so is Facebook