Turkey has reportedly restricted access to popular social media websites in a new censorship push.
According to Turkey Blocks, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are now on the block list, with either outright bans or connection throttling taking place. While Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are often blocked in the country, the Turkish censorship and internet monitoring group says that WhatsApp and Instagram restrictions have now also been detected.
WhatsApp users in Turkey have complained that the service was failing on Friday, November 4 -- and now we appear to know why.
Turkey Blocks claims this is the first time "nationwide restrictions have been detected on the popular messaging app in recent years." The monitoring service says:
"The shutdown was first detected on national provider TTNet, Turkcell and subsequently on other major ISPs, with users of UyduNet and other smaller providers not yet affected at the time of writing."
Turkey is one of a number of countries which throw up walls to online services for political reasons. It is believed that the latest blocking attempt is due to the overnight detention of members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), an opposition party to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's leadership.
Detention orders were issued for 15 HDP members of parliament, and 11 in total were found at the party's headquarters in Ankara to detain, Salon reports.
Only last month, the country's government restricted access to cloud storage services Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, and Google Drive. It is believed the restrictions were rapidly put in place to prevent the spread of a leaked cache of private emails belonging to the son-in-law of Erdogan, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Berat Albayrak.
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