Turkey willing to unblock Wikipedia if unacceptable content deleted – Minister

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Online encyclopedia Wikipedia may be unblocked in Turkey if it deletes content portraying the country as a sponsor of terrorism and agrees to pay local taxes, Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication Ahmet Arslan said Thursday.

The Turkish Information and Communication Technology Authority has blocked wikipedia.org since 29 April in accordance with the national Law 5651 regulating Internet communications.

“One should not show Turkey as a country that supports terrorism, this biased attitude damages the country and its reputation abroad. The editors at Wikipedia did not upload the texts we sent, did not delete the wrong content. That is why the decision was made to block access … But if Wikipedia amends mistakes and uploads the correct information, we will allow access,” the minister told the NTV broadcaster.

Arslan added that Wikipedia should open an office in Turkey and start paying taxes as it was profiting from its activities in the country.

Turkey’s Law 5651 regarding internet regulation has been repeatedly criticised by the country’s opposition for violating freedom of expression and limiting the rights of citizens for access to information.