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Turkish government blocks access to social networks

A monitoring group says the government has restricted Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and other sites after detaining pro-Kurdish leaders.

A banner depicting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan overlooks a street in Rize, Turkey. The government has reportedly restricted access to social media in the country.

A banner depicting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan overlooks a street in Rize, Turkey. The government has reportedly restricted access to social media in the country.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

The Turkish government has blocked access to Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook and other social-media networks following its detention of several pro-Kurdish leaders, according to a group that monitors internet shutdowns in the country.

Turkey Blocks said the government has also placed nationwide restrictions on YouTube, Skype and Instagram by way of speed throttling, a method that slows websites to the point of being unusable.

"Internet restrictions are increasingly being used in Turkey to suppress media coverage of political incidents, a form of censorship deployed at short notice to prevent civil unrest," Turkey Blocks said in a blog post Friday.

The latest blocking is related to a recent raid on the headquarters of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), a leftist group that opposes Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's leadership, Turkey Blocks said.

Turkish authorities did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp.