Duvar English

Online encyclopedia Wikipedia will be reopened once the Constitutional Court reveals its justified decision on ruling that a more than two-year block on access to the website in Turkey is a violation of the freedom of expression, Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül has said.

“The judiciary never receives orders from someone or somewhere. The judiciary receives orders from the constitution and the law. It’s under the command of law and not any group or ideology. It should be known that we oppose all types of attempts that are against this,” Gül told reporters on Jan. 10.

“Wikipedia will be reopened when the Constitutional Court reveals its justified decision,” he added.

The top court ruling of Dec. 26, 2019 opens the way for lifting the website ban, which has been in place since 2017 due to entries that accused Turkey of having links to terrorist organizations.

On its website, the court said it had ruled “that freedom of expression, which is under the protection of the 26th clause of the Constitution, had been violated.”

Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organisation that hosts Wikipedia, had applied to Turkey’s highest court to challenge the access block.

The ruling was passed by a 10-to-six majority in the court, said Yaman Akdeniz, a lawyer who had applied to the court as a user.

Turkey blocked Wikipedia in April 2017 when the telecommunications watchdog cited a law allowing it to ban access to sites deemed obscene or a threat to national security.