Internet shutdown in Turkey’s Southeast follows pro-Kurdish mayors’ detention

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Internet services in Turkey’s southeastern provinces were shut down for almost 12 hours following protests against the detention of two co-mayors from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Gültan Kışanak and Fırat Anlı, on terrorism charges.

Internet users started to complain about connectivity issues at 10:30 a.m. local time affecting cities including Diyarbakır, Mardin, Batman, Siirt, Van, Elazığ, Tunceli, Gaziantep, Şanlıfurfa, Kilis and Adıyaman. Internet services were restored by 10 p.m. in most of the provinces where complaints were received.

According to local media, Internet problems has negatively affected banks, transportation and telecommunication services in the region during the day.

In September, a similar Internet blackout occurred after the government appointed trustees to 28 municipalities whose mayors are mainly from the HDP.

Turkey has systematically used Internet blackouts in recent years to suppress media coverage of political incidents and prevent civil unrest.

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