Wednesday, May 29

Highest Jurisdiction in Turkey: Wikipedia Blocking is Illegal

The Constitutional Court, the highest jurisdiction in Turkey, on Thursday, found illegal access to the Wikipedia internet cyclopaedia blocked by the government.


In April 2017, the Turkish government blocked all access to Wikipedia for “national security reasons”. The cause was two articles that established a link between Ankara and extremist organisations.

The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organisation behind the website, appealed this.

With a majority of ten against six members, the Constitutional Court ultimately ruled that the blocking is against freedom of expression enshrined in the constitution of Turkey.

A court of the first instance, which had rejected a request to lift the access ban in May 2017, must now re-examine the case, taking into account the findings of the supreme court.

Wikimedia also appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in May 2018. There, Ankara has until January 10 to make its insights known.

According to professor of law and internet rights activist Yaman Akdeniz, Turkey is currently blocking more than 280,000 websites. The authorities have already set their sights against YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

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