Hi all,

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 developments. 

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 knowledge seekers.



Katherine Maher (she/her)

Executive Director

Wikimedia Foundation