Duvar English

A more than two-year block on online encyclopedia Wikipedia was lifted on Jan. 15 at around 10.30 p.m. local time, following the official publication of a Constitutional Court ruling that the ban was a violation of freedom of expression.

The detailed version of the ruling published in the Official Gazette opened the way for an end to the ban, put in place in April 2017 due to entries that accused Turkey of having links to terrorist organizations.

The ruling, passed by a 10-to-six majority in the court, was conveyed to the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK), which said that efforts are ongoing and an official statement will be released.

Turkey blocked Wikipedia more than two years ago when the telecommunications watchdog cited a law allowing it to ban access to sites deemed obscene or a threat to national security.

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

The top court on Dec. 26, 2019 said it had ruled “that freedom of expression, which is under the protection of the 26th clause of the Constitution, had been violated.”

Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül said last week that the website would be reopened once the Constitutional Court reveals its justified decision on the ruling.

“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.