Wikipedia, the online user-generated encyclopedia, has been blocked by the Turkish government.
News of the blockage was first reported by the website Turkey Blocks, at around 1AM Eastern this morning.
The website, which was set up to monitor what online properties are blocked by the Turkish government, reported that the blockage was approved by the Ankara first criminal court.
With the move, Turkey joins the Chinese government as two of the only nations to completely block access to Wikipedia.
Since a failed coup attempt last July, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has steadily tightened controls over Turkish media both traditional and online.
The government has also cracked down on dissidents in the country. Picking up a story from the Associated Press, Canada’s Globe and Mail is reporting that at least 4,000 civil servants have been expelled from their posts as a result of a recent decree from the Erdogan government. So far, 47,000 people have been arrested and 100,000 purged for alleged connections to terror organizations.
Tensions in Turkey have been running even higher since a recent referendum on the fate of the Turkish political system. That election saw a small majority of the country grant sweeping new powers to Erdogan, who has been ruling largely by Presidential decree since the July coup, according to reports.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales took to Twitter a few hours ago to post his response to the crackdown on Wikipedia.
The Wikipedia site can still be accessed through the use of a virtual private network and the Turkish government has said that should Wikipedia comply with requests from the government to edit content access would be restored.
According to the Voice of America, the US sponsored news outlet:
Daily Hurriyet newspaper said Turkey has been in communication with Wikipedia for the removal of content supporting terror and presenting Turkey as a “supporter of terror.”
NTV reported that Turkey demanded Wikipedia to open an office in the country, act in line with international law and abide by court decisions and “not be part of the blackout operation against Turkey.”
If these demands are met and the content removed, the site would be reopened, according to Turkish media.