A court in Turkey blocked access to several websites on Wednesday at the request of the General Directorate of Security.
The Turkish government is facing nationwide protests over the delayed first response of the Turkish authorities to the disaster area after the twin earthquakes on 6 February, and official aid is still insufficient to reach the region, more than 15 days after the earthquake.
Following the widespread protests on the Internet due to the devastating earthquake in ten Kurdish and Alevi populated provinces, Turkey has blocked access to several websites and social media posts that criticise the government or focus on the Kurdish issue.
A post shared by the only MedyaNews Twitter account accessible from Turkey about northern Syria’s Kurdish-majority city Kobane’s liberation from the ISIS occupation was also blocked by a court decision on Wednesday. One of the two Twitter accounts of MedyaNews was already blocked around two years ago, as well as the website of MedyaNews which was blocked around six months ago.
🔴 After 134 days of fighting, the #YPG announced on 26 January 2015 that they entered outlying areas in the east of #Kobane after the jihadists retreated, having suffered some 1,600 losses.
— MedyaNews (@1MedyaNews) January 27, 2023
The website of Avesta Publications, which only promotes and sells books, the website of the Kurdish media group Rudaw, based in Erbil, a post of the news website of Botan International, which is in collaboration with Reporters Without Borders, and the personal website of Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink, one of the writers for MedyaNews, were also blocked, citing “terrorist propaganda”.
Turkey’s Information Technologies and Communications Authority (BTK) also blocked the country’s most-visited online forum Ekşi Sözlük on the grounds of protecting national security and public order on 21 February.
Previously, Turkish authorities restricted access to Twitter and other social media services on the third day of rescue efforts after the earthquakes, while several people under the rubble were sharing tweets with their locations, saying that they were alive and calling for help via their phones.