Turkey’s Wikipedia ban ends after almost three years


Turkey is restoring access to Wikipedia after a ban that lasted almost three years.

The country’s Constitutional Court ruled that the ban violated freedom of expression, the pro-government newspaper Milliyet reported.

The online encyclopaedia was blocked in Turkey in April 2017, after it refused to delete articles critical of the country’s government.

The ban lasted 991 days, said internet-monitoring organisation NetBlocks.org.

The Wikimedia Foundation, which runs the service, had refused to remove articles that said Turkey’s government had cooperated with the so-called Islamic State (IS) group and al-Qaeda in Syria.

“We are thrilled that the people of Turkey will once again be able to participate in the largest global conversation about the culture and history of Turkey online and continue to make Wikipedia a vibrant source of information about Turkey and the world,” the foundation blogged.

On Wednesday, the hashtag #Wikipedia became the top trending topic on Twitter in Turkey after the ban was lifted, BBC Monitoring reported.

Local newspaper Hurriyet said: “Wikipedia is finally free.”

Not everyone in Turkey can browse Wikipedia at this point. The service has said that the ban is being lifted “gradually” and that some internet service providers are “still in the process of restoring access”.

The community-edited encyclopaedia has been intermittently censored by authorities around the world, and remains blocked in China.

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