Friday, April 15, 2016

Sputnik news website blocked in Turkey soon after Putin Direct Q&A.

Sputnik news website blocked in Turkey soon after Putin Direct Q&A. (SP).

Russian state news agency website Sputnik has been shut down by Turkey without prior notification under “administrative measures” imposed by the country’s authorities. Turkey was recently slammed in the European Parliament for violating press freedoms.

“After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the law Nr. 5651, administration measure has been taken for this website ( according to decision Nr. 490.05.01.2016.-56092 dated 14/04/2016 of the Presidency of Telecommunication and Communication,” says an error message that appears on the homepage for any user trying to access the site from Turkey.

The problems with were first reported at about 7:50pm local time.

Turkey’s Department of Telecommunications and Communication (TIB) has confirmed the Sputnik website has been blocked in the country.
This morning the blocking of the site was confirmed. According to a representative from Turkey’s Telecommunications Department, they are not obliged to warn anyone when closing a site, Sputnik’s Turkish bureau chief Tural Kerimov said.

Once the Turkish prime minister and other members of the cabinet were empowered in January 2015 to block any web resource without a court order, the Telecommunications Department could be asked to block or delete contents from a we site in a matter of four hours after receiving a notice of national security, protection of social order, or for the prevention of crime.”

The final decision on blocking the Russian web resource, barred in accordance with Law 5651, will be made by a Turkish court, a TIB representative told RIA Novosti.

Law 5651 has been criticized repeatedly in Turkey as limiting citizens’ access to information. In March 2014, the same law was used to temporarily block Twitter and YouTube in Turkey.

The Turkish authorities’ decision to block Sputnik is yet another act of rude censorship in the country where freedom of speech is no longer on the agenda. It simply exists no more, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said, adding that the decision to block the website looks “absurd” coming just several days after it received an award from Turkey’s Journalist Union.

The move comes on the heels of an EU resolution on Thursday, which denounced what they called a serious backsliding on fundamental freedoms, including the growth of clashes in the southeast of Turkey and government’s “violent and illegal take-over of several newspapers including Zaman.”

Given a hypothetical scenario in which both President Erdogan and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko were drowning, Putin was asked yesterday during Q&A to whom he would offer a hand. The Russian president responded that it's impossible to save someone who doesn't want saving, but that Russia is ready to assist any partner willing to accept help. Read the full story here.

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