Turkish court 'blocks access to country's first official atheist website'

Turkish internet users are reportedly unable to access the site

Heather Saul
Wednesday 04 March 2015 19:27 GMT
President Tayyip Erdogan
President Tayyip Erdogan (AFP/Getty)

Turkey has reportedly blocked a website belonging to the country’s first official atheist association, according to local reports.

The Gölbaşı 2nd Civil Court of Peace in Ankara moved to block access to a site belonging to the Atheism Association, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

A ruling effective as of 4 March prevented Turkish users from accessing the website without tools to bypass the blockings, according to the paper.

The ruling citied legislation in the Turkish Penal law which forbids “provoking the people for hate and enmity or degrading them”.

AFP reports that the website was deemed an “insult to religious values” in the ruling.

The association has issued a statement in response to the alleged blocking, where it said: “Three months ago, the European Space Agency managed to put Philae on a one-km wide comet named 67P, which has a speed of 135,00p km/h, after a 3,907-day-long journey to a location 500 million km away.

“Meanwhile, courts in Turkey are still busy blocking websites, citing laws with vague expressions and trying to make a certain belief dominate the others.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been criticised in the past over attempts to control internet freedom and faced protests across the majority Muslim country last year when he attempted to block access to Twitter and YouTube after users spread allegation of corruption ahead of elections.

In October, he defended his government’s efforts to control online speech, where he told a press freedom conference: “I am increasingly against the Internet every day.”

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