Turkey Blocks Many Popular Social Networks

Posted by at 10:38 am on November 4, 2016

flag_of_tunisia-svgAccess to social media and messaging services is blocked in Turkey.

Restrictions on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Skype were detected Thursday, according to Internet monitoring group Turkey Blocks. It appears the government is throttling social networks at the ISP level, slowing down major providers TTNet and Turkcell; smaller ISPs like UyduNet are not affected at this point, Turkey Blocks says.

The move is believed to be related to this week’s arrest of 15 elected officialsfrom the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and the Turkish President’s raid of the leftist, pro-Kurdish group’s headquarters.

Last week, a full Internet shutdown cut off the country’s southeast regions for almost 12 hours; a second stoppage amidst political protests blocked 6 million citizens in the same area.

“Internet restrictions are increasingly being used in Turkey to suppress media coverage of political incidents, a form of censorship deployed at short notice to prevent civil unrest,” Turkey Blocks explained, suggesting that use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the most effective means of circumvention.

Turkey has a long history of social media unrest: In late 2010, the country reinstated a ban on YouTube, days after a 2.5-year embargo was lifted.

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