Social media blocked in Turkey

The TurkeyBlocks monitoring network detected restrictions on access to multiple social media services between 11:07PM local time, Thursday 25 August 2016 and 06:00AM Friday 26 August 2016.

Internet services that were detected as effectively blocked or censored in Turkey:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram (blocked by Superonline ISP only)

Both the services’ websites and mobile applications are unusable during the blackout, and network forensics indicate that network connections were throttled (slowed down, to the point of being unusable) by ISPs.

The block was initially confirmed on Turkey’s leading landline ISPs TTNet, Uyudet and Superonline, and is also in effect with mobile carriers including Turkcell, Vodafone and Avea.

No broadcast ban is known to be in effect and no national or regional emergency has been reported in the press or social media. Unlike previous social media shutdowns, there is no clear connection to a specific attack or terror incident.

New internet killswitch law in effect?

TurkeyBlocks researchers believe that Turkey may have implemented recently-introduced measures allowing the state to partially or fully restrict internet access during wartime emergencies.

The internet “killswitch” amendment in question passed into law 11 June 2016 after publication in Turkey’s Official Gazette. An examination of the relevant clause “MADDE 10” indicates that the BTK (Information and Communication Technologies authority) can now “partially or entirely” suspend internet access due to war / national security and is no longer required to seek ministerial oversight in taking such actions.

MADDE 10 – Aynı Yönetmeliğin 21 inci maddesinin başlığı aşağıdaki şekilde değiştirilmiş ve aynı maddeye aşağıdaki fıkra eklenmiştir.
“Hizmet sunumunun engellenmesi ve işletmenin askıya alınması”
“(2) Kurum; savaş, genel seferberlik ve benzeri durumlarda, kamu güvenliği ve ulusal savunma için gerekli görüldüğü takdirde, sınırlı veya sınırsız bir süreyle işletmecinin işletme faaliyetlerinin tamamını veya bir kısmını askıya alabilir ve doğrudan doğruya şebekeyi işletebilir. Bu durumda geçecek süre, yetkilendirme süresinin sonuna eklenir.”


Some possibly-related incidents in Turkey during the hours preceding the shutdown:

  • Turkey is currently undertaking military operations to expel so-called Islamic State militants on the border with Syria
  • Unconfirmed reports of power cuts in some parts of the country
  • An apparent roadside attack near CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu’s convoy several hours earlier in the day
  • An explosion reported in Van, southeast Turkey


Start:  11:07PM Thursday 25 August 2016
End: 06:00AM Friday 26 August 2016
Duration: ~7 hours