A Turkish court has banned access to 18 web pages, including Twitter accounts, news websites and blogs that reveal facts about a failed coup in Turkey last summer, at the request of the Turkish Telecommunications Authority (BTK).
According to the decision by the Ankara 6th Penal Court of Peace on June 14, access to the Twitter accounts of emreuslu, jhhturkey, dersimkal, bakurpepule, JiyanNews1, _Belirtisiz_, ilim2amel3ihlas and tup_okuzu7, the Facebook account of rojevamedya, the websites of www.demokrasi26com, www.sendika45.org, www.gundemnews2biz, www.jiyannews.com, www.vengma.com, www.aryenhaber.xyz and www.rojvideo.org, and the web blogs of https://jhhturkey.blogspot.com.tr and https://15temmuzgercekleri.wordpress.com were blocked.
The court said that the decision to ban access to the web pages was taken in line with a law that guarantees “people’s right to life, the safety of life and property, national security and public order and the prevention of crimes.”
The news sites and social media accounts that were banned by the court are mainly pro-Kurdish and blogs carry news stories about the failed coup on July 15, 2016, contrary to the rhetoric of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government claiming that the faith-based Gülen movement was behind the coup attempt.
The Turkish government closed down hundreds of media outlets and news websites in the aftermath of the failed coup. It is under heavy criticism for violating freedom of the press and freedom of expression under the pretext of punishing coup plotters and supporters.
Despite Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, whose views inspired the Gülen movement, and the movement having denied the Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s accusation of masterminding the coup attempt that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand, Erdoğan and the government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
Over 138.000 people have been dismissed from their jobs, more than 106.000 were detained and nearly 53.000 jailed over alleged links to the movement.