I have some good news to share with you all -- after nearly three years of
Wikipedia being blocked in Turkey, the Turkish Constitutional Court has
ruled that this is unconstitutional. We hope that access will be restored
soon in light of this ruling, and will keep you updated as we hear further
Please join me in congratulating the Wikimedia community in Turkey, the
millions of Wikipedia readers in Turkey, and all of those struggling under
censorship around the world, on this critical affirmation of the
fundamental right to knowledge.
Imposed in April of 2017, the block has prevented the 80+ million people in
Turkey from accessing and participating in all language versions of
Wikipedia. It also prevented members of our community in Turkey from freely
engaging with the projects and impaired our movement’s global effort to
represent the sum of all knowledge.
As many of you might recall, we had filed an urgent application to the
European Court of Human Rights in April 2019. Our petition on the legality
of the access ban is currently before the ECHR and we are evaluating our
next steps based on this latest ruling.
A team from within and outside the Wikimedia Foundation has been working
diligently since the block was instituted to restore full access in Turkey.
Throughout this process, we have been guided by our Wikimedia values and a
belief that Wikipedia must be accessible in its entirety; with no
censorship of any kind to be tolerated. We worked closely with Wikimedia
community members in Turkey to understand and act in a way that reflected
their needs, wishes, and local context. We also benefited greatly from
conversations with experts around the world.
We will be posting more information on the Foundation website soon. In the
meantime, I wanted to offer my sincere appreciation and admiration to the
members of our community in Turkey -- you have shown great integrity,
courage, and dedication. Your unwavering commitment to the Wikimedia
projects, despite the obstacles placed in front of you, is an inspiration
to us all.
Thank you to every Wikimedia community member around the world who showed
support for the Turkish community. Your commitment to our sense of
community and the strength of our global movement is an inspiration.
Finally, I would also like to thank the many Foundation staff and others
involved over the past months for your exceptional diligence,
professionalism, and tact in handling a delicate situation.
While this is a favorable ruling for our case in Turkey, it remains to be
seen whether the Turkish government will indeed restore access in Turkey.
And serious threats to free knowledge remain around the world. Today's
ruling is a reminder of the work we still left to do.
But at this moment, let us celebrate this important recognition that the
right to information is fundamental to every human, with happy anticipation
of the return of Turkey to our global community of editors, readers, and
Katherine Maher (she/her)
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>