Sep 11 2019

Turkey’s top court set to rescind Wikipedia ban - pro-govt journalist

Turkey’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday is expected to declare Turkey’s more than two-year-old ban on Wikipedia a rights violation, effectively ending the online blockage, according to a veteran journalist known to be close to the Turkish government. 

“Turkish Constitutional Court today will deliberate on Wikipedia ban in Turkey,” Ragıp Soylu, former correspondent for pro-government Daily Sabah, said on Twitter early Wednesday. “Expectation in legal circles: It will declare the ban as 'a fundamental right violation', effectively rescinding the ban.”

Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) announced the ban on Wikipedia in April of 2017, citing a law that allows the organisation to block access to websites deemed a threat to national security.

Critics have accused Ankara of curtailing freedom of speech and other basic rights as part of a crackdown following the July 2016 coup attempt. Turkey has temporarily blocked social media sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter in the past, following terror attacks and protests.

The European Court of Human Right (ECHR) last month gave Turkey until the end of October to present evidence that barring access to Wikipedia is in line with European human rights standards.

In his tweet, Soylu said the constitutional court was expected to decide in favor of ending the blockage "because the case is also before the judges of (the ECHR)".