Wikipedia is taking Turkey to Europe’s top human rights court as it escalates a two-year battle to overturn the country’s ban on its website.
The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that runs the online encyclopaedia, said it had filed an application to the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that a blanket ban was a violation of the fundamental right to freedom of expression.
Announcing the move on Thursday, Katherine Maher, the chief executive of Wikimedia, said the decision to turn to the Strasbourg-based court followed two years of discussions with Turkish authorities and a fruitless challenge in the country’s highest court.
Ms Maher said the Turkish ban, which prevents access to the collaborative site in all languages, was “the most expansive” imposed on the site by any country until China followed suit last week.
She said that the Turkish censorship not only deprived the country’s 81m citizens of access to the information provided on the site, but also meant that their voices were not part of its discussion and debate.
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