Wikipedia is coming back online in Turkey after ban of nearly 3 years

"We are thrilled to be reunited with the people of Turkey."

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
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Eli Blumenthal
Wikipedia logo

The logo of Wikipedia is seen in Ankara, Turkey, on Nov. 30, 2019. 

Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

After more than two and a half years, Wikipedia appears to be coming back online in Turkey. The popular online encyclopedia was banned in April 2017 after the Turkish government accused the site of running a "smear campaign" against it. 

Late last year, the Constitutional Court of Turkey, the country's highest court, ruled that the order was unconstitutional, paving the way for this week's reappearance, which happened to coincide with Wikipedia's 19th birthday. 

Turkey had previously banned YouTube and Twitter, and both of those bans were similarly lifted by the Constitutional Court. In 2018 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also threatened to ban the iPhone and other electronics that come from US companies. 

"We are thrilled to be reunited with the people of Turkey," said Katherine Maher, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, in a blog post announcing that it's coming back online in the country. 

"At Wikimedia we are committed to protecting everyone's fundamental right to access information. We are excited to share this important moment with our Turkish contributor community on behalf of knowledge-seekers everywhere."

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