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ref:topbtw-1648.html/ 25 Maggio 2019/A

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Wikipedia petitions
ECHR over Turkey ban

- New York -

Wikipedia is taking Turkey to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) over a two-year ban imposed on the site in the country, BBC reports.

The Wikimedia Foundation says it filed the petition on the grounds that a ban on its online encyclopaedia violated the right to freedom of expression.

Access to Wikipedia has been blocked in Turkey since April 2017.

Officials said at the time that "an administrative measure" had been taken, but gave no reason for the ban.

Turkish media said authorities had asked Wikipedia to remove content by writers "supporting terror".

"We are taking this action as part of our continued commitment to knowledge and freedom of expression as fundamental rights for every person,"
the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organisation which runs Wikipedia, said in a statement.

"We are doing so only after continued and exhaustive attempts to lift the block through legal action in the Turkish courts, good faith conversations with the Turkish authorities, and campaigns to raise awareness of the block and its impact on Turkey and the rest of the world."

Announcing the move on Thursday, Katherine Maher, the chief executive of Wikimedia, said the decision to turn to the Strasbourg-based court followed two years of discussions with Turkish authorities and a fruitless challenge in the country's highest court, the Financial Times said.

Ms Maher said the Turkish ban, which prevents access to the collaborative site in all languages, was "the most expansive" imposed on the site by any country until China followed suit last week.

Turkey has temporarily blocked social media sites including Facebook and Twitter in the past, usually following protests or terrorist attacks.

Prior to the ban, more than 300,000 articles had been published in Turkish on the Wikipedia site.

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