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Daniel Stein

Wikipedia blocked across Turkey

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Turkey on April 29 blocked all access inside the country to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the communications agency said. Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) said it had implemented the ban on wikipedia.org, without making clear the reason for the move.

Turkish media said that the ban was imposed because Wikipedia had failed to remove content promoting terror and also linking Turkey with terror groups. There was no indication as to when the ban might be removed, with a formal court order expected to follow in the next days.

A block affecting all language editions of the website in Turkey was detected from 8:00 a.m. after an administrative order by the Turkish authorities, the Turkey Blocks monitoring group, which watches internet restrictions in the country, said in a statement. Residents in Istanbul were on April 29 morning unable to access any pages of Wikipedia without using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). "The loss of availability is consistent with internet filters used to censor content in the country," Turkey Blocks said. The BTK confirmed the ban in a statement but gave no details.

"After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651, an administrative measure has been taken for this website wikipedia.org," it said. No reason was given for the order to block Wikipedia. Other websites, including leading social media, appeared to be working normally. But Turkish authorities had been in contact with Wikipedia to press for the removal of content by writers "supporting terror" and also claiming Turkey collaborated with terror groups, according to the media reports.

It said the site had failed to respond to the demands and, as a result, the ban was imposed.

April/29/2017

Source: Hurriyet Daily News

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I wonder why they don't just post an opposing view. I've seen controversial articles on Wikipedia before, and there is an option to post opposing views.

Besides that, blocking Wikipedia only blocks it for Turks, and denies them that option, while the rest of the world can view the controversial articles.

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Here is the latest story on this.

May/11/2017

Turkey has warned online encyclopedia Wikipedia, blocked by the country’s telecommunications watchdog two weeks ago, over what it says is content creating a perception that Turkey is supporting terrorist organizations, Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan said on May 11.

The Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) stated on April 29 that access to Wikipedia had been blocked, citing a law allowing it to ban access to websites deemed a threat to national security.

Speaking to private broadcaster NTV, Arslan demanded Wikipedia open a representative office in Turkey and be eligible to pay tax.  

“Turkey cannot be shown as a supporter of a terror organization. They should remove the false information, and then we will allow the publications. They should also open an office and pay tax,” Arslan said. 

The internet encyclopedia on May 9 applied to the Turkish Constitutional Court after its appeal against the court ruling to block access.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News

My comment: Now they want them to open an office in Turkey and pay taxes? Is every online business or information provider supposed to open an office in Turkey and pay taxes, even when they are not for profit and not based in Turkey? I can't understand the reasoning behind this.

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The opening an office is just an excuse to block content that the administration does not like. Encyclopedia Britannica does not have an office here or pay tax here.

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Soooo... Wikipedia is supposed to use donated funds, certainly against the wishes of the doners, to pay taxes in Turkey, and open an office in Turkey, which they don't need. Then hire Turkish employees that they don't need.

Then, if someone posts something on Wikipedia the Turkish government doesn't like, the Turkish government would move in and force the Wikipedia office, in Turkey, to close, that office which Wikipedia didn't want or need in the first place. Then the Turkish government will block Wikipedia again.

I don't think Wikipedia has any other choice but to make a stand.

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