Turkey’s Erdogan bans Wikipedia, TV Dating Shows, oh, and Fires 4,000

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With the April 16 referendum having expanded Erdogan’s powers, the AKP leader continues to lead a mass crackdown against his citizens.

While a hotly contested referendum earlier this month expanded Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s authoritarian powers — it appears the Justice and Development (AKP) party leader is wasting no time exercising them.

Although his administration has led a major crackdown against its citizens since last July’s failed coup attempt, this Saturday saw nearly 4,000 public officials sacked, a ban placed on all dating shows in the country, as well as blocked access to Wikipedia. Those fired included people in the justice ministry, the army, the air force, and academics.

On the dating show ban, the decree stated, “In radio and television broadcasting services, such programs in which people are introduced to find a friend … cannot be permitted.”

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus had alluded to the ban in March, arguing the shows do not fit in with Turkish traditions and customs.

“There are some strange programs that would scrap the institution of family, take away its nobility and sanctity,” Kurtulmus said at the time.“God willing, in the near future, we will most likely remedy this with an emergency decree.”

The dismissals and ban come after Turkey on April 26 detained more than 1,000 people and suspended over 9,100 police in new crackdown against alleged supporters of the U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen blamed for the failed coup.

Since the July coup attempt, almost 47,000 people have been arrested, with the country under emergency rule as well.

The referendum also exposed bitter divisions in the country, with opposition groups decrying the vote as illegitimate.

International election observers had also delivered a scathing verdict, with a team from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe saying that the referendum had not been fair.  

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