Turkey's grip on information: Wikipedia blocked

As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan becomes a modern day sultan, his mission to censor and control information in Turkey expands. This morning, Turks were unable to access the web's most popular encyclopedia: Wikipedia.
Erdogan has become modern Turkey's most powerful leader Photo Credit: CNN/Channel 2 News

In the past, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tried to censor websites such as YouTube and Twitter and after this month’s dramatic referendum granting his regime extensive powers, Erdogan continues to tighten his control of the media.

This morning (Saturday), CNN reported that local internet users discovered they could not access Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia. Users who tried to access the popular site received a message saying the site was blocked administratively, seemingly after Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority deemed it in violation of Turkish law.

No Wikipedia in Turkey Photo Credit: Wikipedia/Channel 2 News

About three years ago, a Turkish court ordered that the block on YouTube put in place by the authorities be removed. Previously, Erdogan's government attempted to block Twitter, claiming that the site displayed claims accusing Erdogan of corruption.

As previously reported by JOL, two weeks ago, a constitutional referendum in Turkey centered on the question of whether Erdogan’s powers should be expanded was put to a vote. Erdogan won with a majority vote of only 51.3%, thereby expanding his powers and enabling him to remain in power until 2029.

April's referendum gives Erdogan power until 2029 Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

55 million Turks of legal voting age determined that Erdogan will be modern Turkey’s most powerful leader. These election results are likely to have a considerable effect on Turkey’s diplomatic relations with the Western world, especially in light of the country’s unique position within NATO and absorption of Syrian refugees on their way to Europe.

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