April 29 marked the second anniversary of a ban imposed by Turkish authorities on access to popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia, with some international press organizations calling on the Turkish government to stop attempting to curb free speech, the T24 news website reported.
Turkey blocked access to Wikipedia on April 29, 2017 through a court order used to restrict access to pages or entire websites to protect “national security and the public order.”
On Monday international organizations including the International Press Institute, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, Initiative for Freedom of Expression, Norwegian PEN, PEN International and P24 Independent Journalism Platform released a joint statement in which they condemned Turkey for its acts aimed at silencing the free press and freedom of expression on the Internet.
The organizations said they were calling on the Turkish government to terminate all its actions and attempts aimed at preventing free speech.
They said the ban on the Wikipedia was a big blow to freedom of expression and the right to information, adding that it reveals the level of censorship on the Internet and in the media in Turkey.
The signatories of the statement called on Turkish authorities to end the ban on access to Wikipedia and all the other banned websites, which they said run contrary to universal human rights.
An Ankara court ordered the ban on the website after Wikipedia reportedly refused to remove two English-language pages that claimed Ankara had supported jihadists in Syria.