The Turkish government has officially blocked Reddit in the country. Reports of the website being inaccessible first started coming in earlier today, and the status remains unchanged.
Turkey’s Telecom Authority (TIB) officially confirmed the ban with a vague statement, dated November 13, saying, “After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651, ADMINISTRATION MEASURE has been taken for this website (reddit.com) according to Decision Nr. 490.05.01.2015.-252804 dated 13/11/2015 of the Presidency of Telecommunication and Communication.”
The ban has been imposed under the country’s Internet Act, officially named Internet Law Number 5651, which allows TIB to ban online content or entire websites for various reasons, including pornography, drugs, terrorism, prostitution and even “crimes against Mustafa Kemal Atatürk”, Turkey’s first president. This law was introduced in 2007, and has been the focus of heated debate a number of times since, as it gives the country’s telecom department grounds to ban anything online, without needed the court’s authorisation. And they don’t need to have evidence of wrongdoing either, plain suspicion is enough. It’s thereforeno surprise that, when the body’s censorship power was expanded last year, it resulted in protests and riots in Turkey and Ankara
Image source: Reddit
Reddit isn’t even the first major website to face the banhammer, YouTube was banned in April last year, after which the court overturned the order, and Twitter as well. However, if you’re in Turkey, there’s a way to circumvent the problem. Reddit users are confirming that the ban has been implemented on the DNS level, which is what translates a web address into a navigable IP address. That means you can get around it with simple DNS rerouting, like through Google’s service here.