Saudi Arabia bans access to Turkish state media

The Saudi Arabian government has banned access to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency and broadcaster TRT’s Arabic website, Anadolu Agency reported on Monday.

Users face a message that reads, “This website violates the rules of the Information Ministry,” when they try to log on, AA said. No official statement has been released on the matter.

The ban came after a social media campaign by “trolls and fake Twitter accounts known as electronic flies” against Turkish media, AA said.

A Turkish court last week accepted an indictment seeking life sentences for 20 suspects over the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The suspects, including the former deputy chief of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence service Ahmed al-Asiri and ex-royal adviser Saud al-Qahtani, are to face charges of “premeditated murder with monstrous intent,” as per Turkish law.

Turkey’s relationship with Saudi Arabia has seen heightened tension over the Khashoggi killing, which took place in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and the two countries’ disagreement over regional politics, including in Libya and Yemen. Most recently, Turkey has accused Saudi Arabia of failing to act responsibly in the coronavirus pandemic as thousands of pilgrims visited the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
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