The Turkish government has blocked access to WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Skype, and Instagram throughout Turkey, internet monitoring company TurkeyBlocks said.
Speaking to Business Insider, founder of TurkeyBlocks – Alp Toker – confirmed that it is the first time personal messaging services WhatsApp and Skype have been blocked by the Turkish government.
The company said the shutdown is related to the arrest of multiple leaders of the opposition party to president Erdoğan’s right-wing government – the Peoples’ Democratic Party, HDP. TurkeyBlocks independently monitors wide-scale internet shutdown incidents in Turkey.
The arrests of elected officials came after the party’s headquarters were raided by Turkish police in the capital city – Ankara – on Thursday night. The internet site blocks were in place as of 01:20 local time Friday morning, TurkeyBlocks said.
— Turkey Blocks (@TurkeyBlocks) November 3, 2016
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The technique used to block sites – “network throttling” – works by slowing the sites down so much they become unusable.
Turkey selectively enforces bans of social media based upon the current environment. In March 2014, Turkey banned Twitter in the face of government corruption scandals. Ankara had also blocked YouTube for 30 months after a video insulting the founder of modern Turkey was uploaded to the site.