Top court decision lifts year-long ban on popular social platform Ekşi Sözlük

Turkish popular social network Ekşi Sözlük CEO Başak Purut has announced that a year-long ban on their platform had been lifted upon the Constitutional Court (AYM) decision which ruled the ban "violated the freedom of expression."

Duvar English

The access ban to Turkish popular social network Ekşi Sözlük has been lifted upon the Constitutional Court (AYM) ruling.

On Feb. 21, 2023, a Turkish court restricted Ekşi Sözlük’s access, citing national security concerns amid heavy criticism by users of the government’s response to the devasting earthquakes on Feb. 6.

Turkey’s Constitutional Court (AYM) ruled on Jan. 11, 2024, that the ban "violated the freedom of expression."

CEO Başak Purut announced that Ekşi Sözlük was open for access in a post on Jan. 22.

‘’It’s great that our rights have been recognized by the highest court in Turkey, but it’s sad and exhausting that we are forced to do so due to unlawfulness,’’ Purut wrote, who previously called the access restriction a form of ‘censorship’.

The Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) demanded the access restriction of Ekşi Sözlük, after severe criticism by users on the government’s handling of the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes on Feb. 6, 2023 in Maraş, which leveled large swathes of the southeast of Turkey and northern Syria, killing over 50,000 according to official figures.

In the first month following the disaster, access to Twitter was also temporarily restricted and hundreds of people were subjected to judicial investigation or detention for their social media posts.

During the restriction, Ekşi Sözlük remained accessible through alternative domain names such as,, However, these new domains were also subject to bans.

The 1999-founded Ekşi Sözlük, English for ‘Sour Dictionary’, reportedly had over a million daily visitors prior to the ban.

Following Ekşi Sözlük’s reopening, rumors began circulating that accounts supporting Istanbul Mayor and prominent opposition figure Ekrem İmamoğlu were arbitrarily closed.

Ekşi Sözlük, however, denied these allegations, stating that accounts were closed due to "multiple account abuse."

‘’’Supporting’ anyone is not a reason for closing a sözlük account,’’ the platform wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Local elections are scheduled for March 31, 2024, and campaigns are currently picking up pace. 

(English version by Wouter Massink)