Turkish government banned access to 467,000 websites in 2020

The Turkish government issued access bans to 467,011 websites in 2020, a recent report by the freedom of expression association EngelliWeb revealed. Some 764 different government agencies ordered the access bans, the report showed, and 408,808 different decrees were issued for the bans.

Duvar English

Over 467,000 different websites became the target of access bans in Turkey in the year 2020, a recent report by freedom of expression organization EngelliWeb revealed, Anka News Agency reported on Aug. 16.

Some 764 different government organizations prompted 408,808 different decrees requesting access bans, the report showed, while the online content ranged from entire URLs to single social media posts. 

Access to some 150,000 URLs was banned in addition to 7,500 Twitter accounts, 50,000 tweets, 12,000 YouTube videos, 8,000 Facebook posts and 6,800 Instagram posts. 

Some 58,809 domain names were the target of access bans, with 89 percent getting banned by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK).

Access bans were issued on 3,025 domains by prosecutors and courts, another 1,615 by the Capital Markets Board of Turkey and another 128 by the National Lottery Administration. 

The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry banned access to some 96 domains, the Tobacco and Alcohol Office to some 88 domains and the Banking Regulation and Inspection Institution to one domain. 

Some 22,554 news stories' URL addresses were the subject of access bans, while another 15,832 were removed from the Internet for a total of 74 news sites becoming the subject of access bans. 

Some 81 percent of news content was removed from the web after access was banned in 2020, up from 76 percent in 2019, and experts predict the ratio to further increase as a result of social media regulations issued in the past year. 

The daily Hürriyet had the highest number of their news content banned with some 2,251 stories, followed by Sabah daily where some 1,376 pieces of content were banned, while Cumhuriyet daily came in third with 986 stories, Sözcü daily with 918 and T24 news portal with 915.