Web Censorship in Turkey

More examples of growing authoritarianism in Turkey via the NYT:  Turks Click Away, but Wikipedia Is Gone

Wikipedia is just one of 127,000 websites blocked in Turkey, estimated Professor Akdeniz, who has led legal challenges against the Wikipedia ban and other web restrictions. An additional 95,000 pages, like social media accounts, blog posts and articles, are blocked on websites that are not otherwise restricted, Mr. Akdeniz said.

Some of these sites are pornographic. But many contain information and reporting that the government finds embarrassing. Sendika, an independent news outlet, is now on the 45th iteration of its website. The previous 44 were blocked.

For web activists in Turkey, Wikipedia is simply the latest victim of a wave of online censorship that grew steadily from 2015 onward and then surged significantly after last year’s failed coup.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. DrDaveT says:

    It seems to me that the West is not nearly worried enough about Turkey. Turkey has been the Great Experiment, a nation with an overwhelmingly Muslim population and a strong commitment to secular government, thanks to the legacy of Ataturk.

    We’re watching that dissolve before our eyes, and the reaction of most people seems to be “Whuh?”.

    Of course, it would help if we had an actual President. I never thought I would pine for the good old days of W or Reagan, but either would be a vast improvement over the festering boil in the White House at the moment. Forget leading the free world; our current ‘President’ can’t even lead his own staff.

  2. CSK says:

    The festering boil adores Erdogan.

  3. JohnMcC says:

    I’m reminded of a phrase ‘the lights are going out across Europe’. Churchill?

  4. Franklin says:

    @DrDaveT: Couldn’t agree more, especially with the first paragraph.

  5. Electroman says:

    Censoring the internet has been going on in Turkey since well before 2015. The last time I was there, in 2012, numerous social media sites were banned. No YouTube, no Twitter – but you could still get to Facebook without going around their Great National Firewall.

  6. CSK says:


    That was Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, in 1914. It does sound Churchillian, though.

  7. @Electroman: This is a long-term problem, to be sure.