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.