Sputnik news website blocked in Turkey

THE website of alternative Russian media outlet Sputnik has reportedly been blocked in Turkey. People trying to gain access to the site have apparently received a message indicating that the site is undergoing “technical checks and legal assessments.”

Relations between the two countries have been tense since a Russian warplane was shot down in Turkish airspace in November, and this latest development could be seen as a sign that the tension is not about to slow down any time soon.

The news also came mere hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin made anti-Turkish comments during a televised phone-in which he participates in annually.

Sputnik news was launched in 2014 to allow people around the world to have access to Russian news coming from “a different perspective.”

Editor-in-chief Mahir Boztepe has stated that Sputnik has written to the regulatory agency asking for an explanation for the ban.

This is only the latest in a series of controversial censorship measures introduced by Turkey in recent months and years. Legislation passed in 2014 has given Turkish authorities free rein to block websites without a court ruling, with Twitter and Facebook have even been blocked in the past due to the nature of images and material being distributed and shared.

Only a month ago the country’s biggest newspaper, Zaman, was blindsided after a court ruling led to an abrupt government takeover which ended in protests and clashes with police. No explanation was ever given for the court ruling. 

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