Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Turkish court rules against government’s Wikipedia ban

The online encyclopedia was blocked in the country in April 2017.

The Wikipedia website displayed on an iPad (Peter Byrne/PA)
The Wikipedia website displayed on an iPad (Peter Byrne/PA)

By Associated Press Reporters

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.

bpanews_21c02026-f931-48fe-9a95-215010639619_embedded249233801
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkish Presidency via AP)

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.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph