Turkey's top court rules Wikipedia ban breaches freedom of expression

Turkey’s Wikipedia Ban Violates Rights, Top Court Rules

Turkish court: Wikipedia ban defies freedom of speech

Fox News Flash top headlines for December 26 are here.

Turkey's Constitutional Court has ruled that a more than two-year block on access to online encyclopaedia Wikipedia in the country is a violation of freedom of expression.

With six out of 10 votes, the court ruled that the total ban on the website violated freedom of expression.

On April 29, 2017, the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) said it had blocked access to Wikipedia in Turkey, citing a law allowing it to ban access to websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security.

"Today's decision from the Turkish Constitutional Court is an important step for the right to knowledge", the Wikipedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, said in a statement.

"One of the saddest questions is this: from day one we expressed on all platforms that the process of blocking access to all Wikipedia was illegal", wrote Gonenc Gurkaynak, a lawyer representing Wikimedia, on Twitter.

Entries said Turkish government officials were involved in oil trading with ISIS and that Turkey sponsored the group.

Wikimedia Foundation, which operates Wikipedia, appealed the decision in May 2017, but a Turkish court rejected it. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales addressed Thursday's ruling in a tweet: "Welcome back, Turkey!".

Per the Guardian, the revocation of the ban is ordered to commence immediately, though the government issued no comment and it remained unclear how quickly it would follow through. But before the ban is lifted, a full opinion will most likely need to be published, said Yaman Akdeniz, a law professor at Istanbul Bilgi University who had also challenged the ban on Wikipedia.

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