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Turkey cuts off Wikipedia amid dissent crackdown

A court orders a "protection measure" against the online encyclopedia in the midst of efforts to shut down opposition.

Wikipedia has been banned in Turkey.

The Turkish government has blocked Wikipedia as part of its latest attack on dissent.

Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority said Saturday that a court had ordered a "protection measure" against Wikipedia, CBS News reported. The country uses such measures to cut off access to websites for "national security and public order."

Turkey had been making demands of the online encyclopedia, including that the site remove content critical of the government, which Wikipedia refused to do.

Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's founder, responded to the ban with a promise to try to end it.

"Access to information is a fundamental human right. Turkish people, I will always stand with you and fight for this right," he said in a tweet.

While the loss of Wikipedia is no small thing, Turkey's crackdown over the weekend also included firing thousands of civil servants and shutting down more civil groups and health clinics, the New York Times reported. Altogether, the Times reported, about 140,000 people have been "purged" and over 1,500 civil groups banned since last year's failed coup attempt.

The latest crackdown comes less than two weeks after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a referendum vote that expands his powers.