15:04 Jul. 20, 2016
Nearly 300,000 emails from ruling party posted online ‘in response to government's post-coup purges'
Turkey has blocked access to the WikiLeaks website, the telecoms watchdog has said, after nearly 300,000 emails from president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) were put online as Ankara grapples with the aftermath of a failed military coup.
The emails date from 2010 to 6 July this year. Obtained before the attempted coup, the date of their publication was brought forward "in response to the government's post-coup purges", WikiLeaks said on its website, adding that the source of the emails was not connected to the coup plotters or to a rival political party or state.
Turkey's telecommunications communications board said an "administrative measure" had been taken against the website – the term it commonly uses when blocking access to sites. Turkey routinely uses internet shutdowns in response to political events, which critics and human rights advocates see as part of a broader attack on the media and freedom of expression.
A senior Turkish official said the ban was imposed on the WikiLeaks content because it constituted stolen or illegally obtained information.
The ban came hours before a high-level national security council meeting that will, for the first time since the coup attempt, bring together the president, top cabinet and military officials in Ankara to discuss policies in response to Friday's coup attempt.