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Turkey blocks access to Wikipedia website: Monitoring group

A Turkish internet monitoring group says Ankara has blocked all access inside the country to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia amid the government’s ongoing post-coup crackdown.

Turkey Blocks, which calls itself an independent “digital transparency project,” said in a statement that a block on all language editions of the Wikipedia website had been detected at 8:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) on Saturday.

“The loss of availability is consistent with internet filters used to censor content in the country,” it added, noting that the latest block was after an administrative order by the Turkish authorities.

Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) confirmed the ban report but gave no details.

“After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651, an administrative measure has been taken for this website Wikipedia.org,” it said.

Over the past years, Turkey has become notorious for provisionally blocking access to popular sites, including Facebook and Twitter, in the wake of major events such as mass protests or militant attacks.

Ankara has also been engaged in suppressing the media and opposition groups, who were believed to have played a role in a failed putsch on July 15, 2016, when a faction of the Turkish military declared that the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was no more in charge of the country.

Over 40,000 people have been arrested and 120,000 others sacked or suspended from a wide range of professions, including soldiers, police, teachers, and public servants, over alleged links with terrorist groups.

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