Turkey blocked number of Kurdish news websites and many users had difficulty in accessing Twitter and Facebook for an unspecified reason.
The decision imposed early July 25 by Turkey’s Telecommunications Directorate (TİB), a government-controlled Internet watchdog, targeted news websites based not only in Turkey, but also in northern Iraq.
Blocked websites include Rudaw, BasNews, DİHA, ANHA, Özgür Gündem newspaper, Yüksekova Haber, Sendika.org and RojNews. When trying to access one of the websites, a user from Turkey can only see a message that the TİB blocked it as an “administrative measures.
Thanks to a law prepared by the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) party and approved in parliament on March 12, Turkish cabinet ministers can remove or block an online publication for “defending the right to live, securing property, ensuring national security and public order, preventing crime or protecting public health.”
The TİB could enforce the request of the ministry, as a blanket ban of the website if deemed necessary, within a maximum of four hours. The decision should then be approved by the judge of a criminal court of peace within 24 hours. The judge would have to issue a ruling in 48 hours. If no verdict is issued, the ban would automatically be revoked.
A Turkish court had on July 22 blocked Twitter for more than two hours after ordering a publication ban on photos and videos of the deadly Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) bombing in southeastern Turkey.
Currently, more than 81,000 websites are blocked in Turkey, according to monitoring website Engelli Web.
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