Twitter was blocked on several networks inside Turkey, according to NetBlocks, a group that tracks internet outages — taking out a key communication channel for coordinating relief efforts after Monday’s devastating earthquake.
Alp Toker, the director of NetBlocks, said Wednesday that the coordinated nature of the block suggested that it was likely the result of a government order. He said network data indicated that the block was being done with software installed by telecommunications providers that can prevent specific websites and services from loading.
NetBlocks later said that by Thursday morning network activity appeared to show that access to Twitter had been restored.
Turkey has a history of imposing social media restrictions during emergencies and major safety incidents.
In October, Turkey’s Parliament passed sweeping legislation in an effort to crack down on disinformation. As part of the measure, social media companies must remove content and provide proprietary information to the authorities if requested to do so. Companies that do not comply could face a slowdown in the speed of their services in Turkey.
Asked about reports of problems accessing Twitter, Vice President Fuat Oktay attributed those difficulties to “some technical problems” during a news conference about relief efforts.
Officials from Twitter and the Turkish government met later, Anadolu News Agency, the state news service, reported. Omer Fatih Sayan, the Turkish deputy minister of transportation and infrastructure, reminded senior Twitter officials “Twitter’s responsibility in fighting disinformation,” Anadolu reported.
Gulsin Harman contributed reporting.