Turkey blocked access to Wikipedia after it refused to remove content

Photo by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

Turkey blocked access to Wikipedia on Saturday, according to Reuters, using a law designed to grant authorities the ability restrict content the country considers obscene or a threat to national security.

Access to the online encyclopedia appears to have been blocked at 8AM local time on Saturday morning, according to monitoring group Turkey Blocks, a project to “identify and validate reports of internet mass-censorship in Turkey.” It explained that the loss is consistent with “internet filters used to censor content in the country.”

The country used an administrative order to block access to the website, based on Law No. 5651, which grants the government broad authority to regulate online content. According to the state-run media outlet Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Ministry said access has been blocked because the website hosted articles and comments that claimed Turkey was coordinating with terrorist groups. “Instead of coordinating against terrorism,” the Ministry says, “it has become part of an information source which is running a smear campaign against Turkey in the international arena.”

According to the Ministry, the government asked Wikipedia to remove the content, which refused, leading to the ban. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales posted his response on Twitter, stating that “access to information is a fundamental human right.”

In recent years, Turkey has cracked down on sites such as WikiLeaks, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, typically citing national security as a reason. This latest development will likely spark renewed concerns from human rights groups over increased censorship in the country. According to the BBC, users on social media in Turkey voiced their concerns, wondering if it was an attempt to suppress criticism of the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who recently won a controversial referendum that expanded the powers of his office.


I don’t think I will ever understand why people voted for this crap… There must be a completely different world view in Turkey that I’m just not getting.

Meanwhile in the eyes of the western world, Turkey is quickly going down the drain…

well turkish people outside turkey voted for him as well.

Just here in Denmark, 60% of the turkish voted for Erdogan.

Would be awesome if the 60% then moved back to turkey to celebrate it… but yeah… not going to happen.

I hear this type of (to me extremely right wing sounding) false argumentation argumentation way too often since the election.

Some important points there:
-Erdogan and his party did as much as they could to rig the elections in all countries.
See most of the international observers stating that with good valid proof.
So which percentage he actually got is highly debatable, the only thing being a given is that the actual percentage he got was way lower than what was stated as result.

Then there are many other important aspects to consider if one actually wants to know why the elections ended with such result.

Like for example in many european countries people with turkish origins have the passport of the country they live in, especially many of those who feel most in european views, and well, as such not having a turkish passport, they couldn’t vote against erdogan.

Then also very important: Lots of people with turkish origin would like to speak out more against erdogan but are scared for the future prospects of their relatives in turkey since it is widely known erdogan puts all in jail who speak out too loudly against him and reduces job and other chances of relatives of such people.

So yeah…

The Turkish passport issue is a bit more complicated than that. Most Turkish immigrants actually retain dual citizenship and in a fairly "world domination" type move, Turkey actually claims children of Turkish parents as citizens as well. As a result they have a very wide spread population all over the world who still have fairly tight bonds with Turkey and are legally able to vote, without even ever having been to Turkey.

Now I don’t know the Danish stats, but I live in the Netherlands and I know we got a 60% in favor as well from Turkish people voting in the Netherlands. However it needs to be said that only 40% of those eligible to vote actually voted. And it’s likely that the others might have voted against it if they would have voted. Those are the numbers. Without any bias mixed in.

Now I’m still a little shocked that a relatively large chunk of the people who have been living in a very progressive country with all the freedoms you can imagine would still vote against their own interest like this. But at least the 60% is not as bad as it sounds at first. It’s also true that there is a lot of social pressure to support the Turkish regime. That pressure could lead to people not voting instead of voting against it. Clearly that is simply not good enough.

This system is fairly clever. The Turkish people living elsewhere either have a pretty tight bond and will likely vote for more Turkish powers, while the ones losing their bond with Turkey are unlikely to vote. So letting this large group of voters in other countries vote, tips the scales in their favor.

My parents have a turkish passport. I don’t have a turkish passport.
I have a bond with both countries and would have voted against Erdogan of course, but couldn’t.
I can’t vote in Turkey (Nor could i vote from this country on the election in Turkey with my passport).
It has been reported by the media in widespread form to which crazy lengths they went to manipulate the "elections" in all countries.
Things like the same people voting yes several times, just to give one example.
One can read up on it on wikipedia etc what all the election observers noticed in several countries.
Hence one of the reasons Wikipedia is blocked in Turkey now.
So what else does one have to say there, it is clear sadly the democracy there has been destroyed in all but name.

I have little doubt there was a lot of manipulation going on. Even the ballots were a little shady with the against side being a much darker color than the pro side. Aside from psychological influence it also increases the likelihood of a stamp not being visible enough to count.
Ironically the image source is wikipedia, so this image won’t show up in Turkey

From what I’ve understood in the past though, you would at least be able to get a Turkish passport. Article 66 of the Turkish constitution mentions the following: "The child of a Turkish father or a Turkish mother is a Turk." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_nationality_law

I can’t blame you for not going through the trouble of getting all that done just to vote against though. Of course I could also be completely misinterpreting things. But in short… what a great resource is wikipedia!

Yes, exactly, your comment is spot on, the ballots were shady that way on many (very intentional of course) ways.
But yeah, worse was that they didn’t count many no votes, counted many yes votes multiple times and even went so far as not letting many opposers to election offices in many places.

Regarding my passport situation: Me personally i would prefer it if i (and all humans) would have a world citizen passport and individual country passports would get removed, but that’s a big topic for another day..

I don’t need a passport for me personally to tell me who i am, i feel like part turkish, part this country, most world citizen.
If i would do a genealogy test, like for most humans, it would likely turn up that i have roots from many places.
I had a turkish passport initially but since i live here all my life and the turkish passport only gave me downsides whenever i needed it and back then it was stated to me from several places that if i would get a dual passport thing going then i might loose the non turkish passport anytime as the other country was not liking the dual passport thing, well, i then applied for the other passport and during that process dropped the turkish passport, so a switch of citizenship, no dual citizenship.

All the election manipulation going on there which has been proven on many ends already, yeah, all that considered, my single vote sadly would not have changed the end result either.
No use when they have so many different ways of faking the results going on.

He got very barely over 50% and that while it is very well known that he used all sorts of election manipulation to the fiercest extreme.
Next to also for several years before already doing "his best" (as (wannabe) dictator) to silence all opposing media, most of the opposing other parties, military and many other channels.

That he just barely got more than 50% (and the election manipulation counted out it would be less than 50%) shows that actually the majority of the turkish people do in fact not want him.

Sadly he has manipulated the country’s media and election system and all state organs to a degree over several years where yes, now he can push through with such things and act like this was voted for democratically.

Very sad.

I’m not disputing any of what you just said, but that still means that a very large chunk of the population voted for it, knowing they were giving up their own rights basically. I can perhaps see that happening in a country like North Korea, where the state controls all media directly. But that is not really the case in Turkey. While there is heavy media influence, they are not as isolated as North Korea is. You would think they should know better. It’s just hard to wrap my head around. But then again… I don’t understand recent election results in western countries all that well anymore either.

Yeah, in the US almost half voted for Trump.
In more and more european countries right wing parties are getting more and more votes as the populists get empowered secretely by Russia and others who want to break Europe apart (so it can easier be taken over piece by piece).
Lots of sad nonsense going on in the world.

Note that a lot of the population does not think about what all bad things a regime might do.
They are unhappy with the overall situation and then someone yells loudly he will do things different and presents some guilty party pictures to blame, and a lot of people jump in on the bandwagon to yell whatever he says.

On the "voting ballots" it didn’t even say what the people should vote on, it only said "Yes" and "No".


Stop with that Russia non sense!!!! It’s a load of crap being pushed into your brainwashed mind.

It doesn’t help your point to flip to the other extreme. At best you can say we don’t have enough information to be able to judge one way or the other.

Yes, this movement isn’t just limited to Turkey. Though this proposal is a bit more extreme than voting for a right wing candidate.

I’m glad that in the Netherlands we were still able to avoid a right wing take over. Even if the right wing party would have won the most votes (they came in second) they would not have been able to form a government since no other parties are willing to govern with them. It’s getting more difficult to prevent with each election though.

Sometimes I think we’ve been having too easy a life, we’re taking peace and freedoms for granted. People have forgotten the dangers of totalitarian rule and over the top nationalism. Hopefully we’ll learn before the scales tip too far in that direction.

I agree with most of your comment, though Trump looks pretty right wing to lots of people around the world what with not letting people from certain countries in, wanting to build up a wall to separate Mexico more etc. Anyway, yeah, not that much sense in comparing different levels/types of leaders i guess.
And yes, i’m very glad the right wing takeover was avoided in the Netherlands, too.
(Love the Netherlands in general, not just due to that, just been there a few times and it’s a great place with nice people )

Where i don’t agree is that right wing people are taking over because we’ve had a too easy life.
Because my life and living conditions here were easiest for most when i was smaller and then got progressively worse for most average people as for example the euro was implemented in really bad way.
I love the idea of the Euro and think it is very needed, like the whole european union, but yeah, the way it was implemented was heavily lacking, so there was a huge de facto inflation due to it in many countries.
Add to that giant corps and banks trying to cheat all to the max and then on top having to get bailed out when they go down, then stepwise several countries having to get bailed out, yeah, no, there were also a bit more relaxed times in between.

It’s all relative of course but i feel like there is a general trend of some parts of the population having more worries about the future and that then can be abused easily by some by presenting one or some "guilty parties" to blame..

Maybe we share the view in maybe you meant we had it easy as in a few generations didn’t have to experience the horrors of a world war themselves, nor the horrors of an oppressive regime on the level of the Nazi regime in Germany back then.
Yeah, on that i totally agree.
I mean heck, in Turkey, even with a lot of election manipulation, the guy sorta won killing off democracy further in (semi faked) democratic election way.
Yes, with unfaked numbers he would have lost slightly, but still.
Turkey is the country which was under Sultan regime who could kill off anyone anytime he wished to, that regime lost it’s power more and more until Turkey was occupied by more and more countries arranging how to split it up best and then there was the war lead by Ataturk to free Turkey and establish a democratic system then.
Thanks to that Ataturk is praised as the bringer of democracy, modern dress code, modern written/read language and many other positive changes there, hence why there are so many ataturk busts and pictures in offices and everywhere of Ataturk to this day.
There is a huge love for him and democracy in Turkey.
And then all it took for another leader to break up democracy was a few years of propaganda and silencing naysaysers.
Really sad.

And yeah, in more and more countries across Europe it goes the same way meanwhile, right wing parties who would have gotten shunned a decade ago are not getting more and more votes…

I agree, hopefully people will wake up before it’s too late.

Besides those who want to opress more countries and the weapons industry, a world war 3 is no good to anyone, and in smaller scale, a broken up Europe and US and/or Russia clashing with others in large scale is not good for anyone either.

Sometimes i look at tech stuff and other progress and am happy about where mankind could go.
Then i think about how much money, time, energy, lives, all wasted due to senseless stupid moron propaganda and nonsense wars.

Hm..i’ll think positive again: All will wake up and realise that bullshit is not worth it to anyone..hm..i hope..

I really appreciate the insight from your perspective. I think we actually agree, despite my somewhat tortured phrasing that "we’ve had it too easy". What I meant to say is that we didn’t have to worry about peace, freedom (including freedom of speech and press) and democracy for quite a long time. We may have lost sight of how wrong things can go when we lose that.

I definitely recognize the economic issues of the past decade(s), but that’s a completely different pressure which is actually leading to people being willing to vote for more extreme leaders who promise they can fix it.

I’m not as familiar with the history of Turkey, but I have always viewed them as an example for the middle east. But instead, it seems they are now moving in the wrong direction.

The only hope I have is that with modern technology, things starting to go wrong in one place eventually serve as a warning for other countries. I’m happy to see the marches in the US. People aren’t just taking it lying down. A new generation is raised being more politically involved. And that young generation generally isn’t the one voting for the right wing candidates. I don’t think there is reason to lose hope, but there is reason to work at changing things for the better.

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