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Turkey blocks access to Wikipedia website: monitoring group

News 29 Apr 2017
Turkey blocks access to Wikipedia website: monitoring group

FILE PHOTO: A reporter's laptop shows the Wikipedia blacked out opening page in Brussels January 18, 2012. REUTERS/Yves Herman

ISTANBUL Turkish authorities on Saturday blocked access to online encyclopedia Wikipedia, an internet monitoring group said, the latest in what government critics say is a crackdown on free speech on the internet.

A block on all language editions of the Wikipedia website was detected at 8:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) on Saturday, monitoring group Turkey Blocks said on its website.

"The loss of availability is consistent with internet filters used to censor content in the country," it said.

When attempting to access the webpage using Turkish internet providers, users received a notice the site could not be reached and a "connection timed out" error.

Monitoring groups have accused Turkey of blocking access to social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook, particularly in the aftermath of militant attacks.

The government has in the past denied that it blocks the internet, blaming outages on spikes in usage after major events. But technical experts at watchdog groups say the blackouts on social media are intentional, aimed in part at stopping the spread of militant images and propaganda.

(Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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