Turkey To Keep Wikipedia Blocked Until 'False' Information Removed

The head of Turkey’s communications agency says Ankara will not allow access to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia inside the country until it removes information that the Turkish government has deemed as false.

Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) banned Wikipedia.org on April 29 as an "administrative measure" and a court in Ankara on May 2 backed the measure up with a formal court order.

"It's impossible for access to Wikipedia to be allowed until judiciary decisions are followed," BTK head Omer Fatih Sayan said on May 3.

State media said the ban was imposed because Wikipedia failed to remove content accusing Turkey of cooperating with terrorist groups.

The state media reports said Wikipedia must also remove content that has been deemed by Ankara as promoting terrorism.

The Wikimedia Foundation has appealed the Ankara court's ruling.

Officials in Istanbul on May 2 also removed Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales from the guest list of the World Cities Expo -- a May 15-18 international conference in the city.

Turkey in the past has temporarily blocked access to websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube following terror attacks or antigovernment demonstrations.

Opponents of the blockages say they restrict freedom of speech and civil liberties

Turkey's government insists the bans are temporary and are necessary for national security.

Based on reporting by AFP and hurriyetdailynews.com