Turkey has banned Gazete Duvar's reporting on claims of a child being sexually abused by 27 men, including soldiers, police officers and the state's village guards, in the country's southeastern province of Batman's Gercüş district.
The ban was imposed by Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK), which said that it was executing a blocking order taken by the Gercüş Criminal Court of Peace.
In terms of the access ban's legality, the BTK stated that the legal basis of the interference was indicated as Article 8/A of the Law No. 5651. However as the BTK did not dispatch the court's ruling in its notice, it is not clear how the relevant article has been violated.
According to article 8/A of Law No. 5651, a judge may take a decision to remove content from or block access to the Internet on one or more of the following grounds: to protect the right of life or security of life and property, to protect national security and public order, to prevent the commission of a crime, or to protect public health.
Gazete Duvar said on Dec. 6 that a 15-year-old child was allegedly sexually abused in the Gürcüş district, basing its report on JinNews, which focuses on Kurdish issues.
The incident was revealed when the child was determined to be pregnant when she was taken to a hospital after suffering from bellyaches, according to JinNews' report.
Speaking to JinNews, witnesses said that the sexual abuse had been ongoing for eight months and that it was widely known.
As more and more people inquired about the incident, Batman Chief Public Prosecutor's Office imposed a confidentiality order on the case, while also refuting claims that security forces were involved in the sexual abuse.
Access to JinNews' report was also banned on Dec. 7.