Access to all editions of the Wikipedia has been blocked in Turkey since April 29, 2017, without an official explanation. It was later reported that the Ankara the 1st Criminal Court had accepted the request to ban links of Wikipedia to prevent access to the articles, named “Foreign Involvement in the Syrian Civil War” and “State-Sponsored Terrorism” that indicated the involvement of the Turkish government in the Syrian war. This decision has been made according to the Law no.5661 due to the technical investigation and legal evaluation. However, it is uncertain why wikipedia is banned including all of its content, instead of issuing access block to the two links that are actually related with the first application.
Wikipedia foundation made an application to the Constitutional Court and due to the lack of a decision, they applied to the European Court of Human Rights, stressing that the Constitutional Court did not constitute an effective mechanism. While the Court scrutinized the case, it asked the Turkish state to explain the legitimate grounds of this action. Following this, the Constitutional Court referred the case to General Assembly, on September 11.
The decision of the General Assembly of the Constitutional Court (TCC) is awaited.
On 26.12.2019, General Assembly of TCC rendered its judgement and found the violation of the freedom of press. In its judgement, the court noted, inter alia, that the inferior courts failed to demonstrate any concrete grounds so as to justify the interference with the impugned contents on the ground of “maintaining national security and public order”, that the broad interpretation of the grounds for interference prescribed by law without establishing concrete links leads to an impression of arbitrariness, that the volunteer and impartial editors on Wikipedia had made comprehensive changes in the impugned texts, that the measure of blocking access has become permanent and that the blocking of access to Wikipedia in Turkey has constituted an interference not only with the freedom to disseminate information and thoughts of the applicant as the content provider but also with the Turkish users’ right to receive information and thoughts.
Following the notification of the TCC judgement to the Ankara 1st Criminal Judgeship of Peace, which had issued the access block order to the site, wikipedia was opened to access on January 15, 2020, after 2 years and 8 months.