Turkey blocked Wikipedia access on April 29th, 2017. As most of you know, Turkey has had a referendum for the constitutional change last month. A lot of people thought that the new powers for Erdogan would cause trouble on the international arena. Therefore, people expected bolder decisions from the government after “Yes” votes came out leading on the referendum. However, the governmental policies have not experienced any difference with new systems establishment. People around the world wonder if the new powers are the reason for incaccessible Wikipedia for Turks.
As every person using the internet, we also want people to have continuing access to information. However, this has always been a controversial argument about what if the information is not right. Do you remember your projects in the college with the requirements of “reliable sources” about your subject? Yes, we all went through the same troubles! Even though Wikipedia has always been the easy way of reaching information, it has NOT been considered as RELIABLE. The way of collecting information on Wikipedia is not working similar to traditional encyclopedia. This being the main reason, entries could easily be manipulated.
Why Turkey blocked Wikipedia Access without Notice?
This is not the first time Turkey making decisive moves for internet giants. In the past, Turkey has revoke the access for Booking.com, Twitter and YouTube as well as others. Usually, taking action without prior notice has always been much more effective way. Turkish officials have experienced this in the past with other companies by trying to stall officials. If you show them that you are serious with demand, companies are likely to show dedication on fixing it.
In my opinion, this action has nothing to do with the new Turkish Constitution as the country applied similar activities in the past. The reason of Turkey Blocked Wikipedia Access is related to pages promoting terrorist activities to public. Wikipedia officials needs to consider this important point in the future. Unlawful activities cannot be presented attractive nowhere in the world.
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What was Wikipedia’s Response to Turkish Officials Blocking the Access?
“The Wikimedia Foundation has learned that access to Wikipedia has been blocked in Turkey as of Saturday, April 29th. Wikipedia is a rich and valuable source of neutral, reliable information in hundreds languages, written by volunteers around the world. We are committed to ensuring that Wikipedia remains available to the millions of people who rely on it in Turkey. To that end, we are actively working with outside counsel to seek judicial review of the decision affecting access to Wikipedia. We hope the issue can be resolved promptly.”
It appears to me that Wikipedia wants to keep its Turkish Readers. However, they need to take an immediate action for fixing the problem. The easiest way will be working together with the Turkish Government moving forward. As I mentioned before, I would like everyone to have access information freely if the information is reliable. We will continue monitoring this process. Also, we will continue looking into Turkish Government actions in the new system to deliver fair valuation.