Turkey’s information authority blocks access to popular social network Ekşi Sözlük

Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) has blocked access to the dictionary-based discussion forum Ekşi Sözlük. The popular social network was recently being targeted by pro-government media outlets over its coverage of the earthquakes. The site, giving place to different voices, was crucial in calls for help in the aftermath of the quakes.

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One of Turkey’s most popular social networks, the dictionary-based discussion forum Ekşi Sözlük, has been blocked by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK). The site was on the target of pro-government media outlets due to its posts on the earthquakes.

Ekşi Sözlük said on its Twitter account that it was aware of the access ban but “did not have information as to its details.” “We are trying to receive information from the officials. We are going to share it as we get information,” it said.

Ekşi Sözlük lawyer Başak Purut also made an announcement on its Twitter account, saying: “We have a little while ago found out that there is a ban decision about Ekş Sözlük; we are looking into the issue.”

Purut told journalist Cüneyt Özdemir that they have been trying to reach BTK for hours, but could not reach anyone. “BTK decided on its own, but we were not given any content with regards to the decision,” she told Özdemir, according to reporting by online news outlet Diken.

Leading cyber rights expert tweeted that the BTK based its decision most likely on the grounds of “national security, public order, protection of children and law on National Intelligence Organization (MİT).”