Turkish authorities blocked access to a total of 288,310 websites between 2006 and October 2019, according to a report released by the Freedom of Expression Association (İFÖD), the Diken news website reported on Monday.
The report was prepared in anticipation of Turkey’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in January 2020, a United Nations mechanism established to periodically examine the human rights performance of all UN Member States.
According to the report, Turkish authorities censored 36,702 websites in the first 10 months of this year alone.
The association said it has spotted 7,334 URL-based blocking decisions delivered by courts since the enactment of a law on the protection of personal rights.
“Most of these censored news articles included criticisms directed at political leaders, the government or government agencies,” the report said. “While these articles were blocked on account of violation of personal rights, no criminal charges were pursued against them, which led to an indefinite censorship.”
The report also noted Turkey’s requests that Twitter remove content or block accounts. Turkey introduced 5,099 such demands between 2012 and 2018, leading the world in this field, followed by Russia with 385 requests.
The report noted that Wikipedia has been blocked in Turkey since April 2017.