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Access to 30 critical websites blocked by gov’t after state of emergency declaration

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Turkish government has blocked access to many critical websites, including WikiLeaks and a number of news portals reporting pieces critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government, after declaring state of emergency over July 15 failed military coup attempt.

Among the banned websites are the popular satirical Turkish weekly LeMan, WikiLeaks – a website founded by Julian Assange that publishes leaked material mostly from governments –, archive.org – an internet archive with millions of free books, movies, software, music and websites – and independent news portals such as Haberdar, Aktif Haber, Rota Haber and On7Yirmi5.

WikiLeaks on Tuesday released nearly 300,000 emails from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government dating from 2010 to July 2016. Obtained before the July 15 failed coup attempt, the date of their publication was reportedly brought forward “in response to the government’s post-coup purges,” WikiLeaks said on its website.

Publishing of Leman was halted on Wednesday due to the cover of its latest issue, which depicts last week’s failed coup attempt with a dissident stance against the ruling party and Erdoğan.

Turkish government, which frequently uses Internet shutdowns in response to critical events, has widened its crackdown not only on media, but also on other important government bodies such as the judiciary and the military as well as a huge number of public servants in the aftermath of the attempted coup and the state of emergency.

A group of soldiers attempted a military coup at around 10 p.m. on July 15, with tanks rolling onto the streets of Ankara and İstanbul and soldiers blocking the Bosphorus Bridge and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. The military’s claim of a takeover was announced by the state broadcaster TRT after rebel soldiers raided its building. The anchorwoman said the military imposed martial law and declared a curfew until further notice.

Over 200 people, including civilians, were killed in clashes between police and rebel soldiers overnight. The Parliament, the presidential palace and the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) headquarters were struck by military helicopters.

The Turkish government managed to suppress the coup attempt and launched a large-scale crackdown across the country on media, public servants, judges, prosecutors and teachers, along with rebels within the army.

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