01:10 GMT +314 November 2019
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    OSCE Slams Turkey's Sputnik Ban as Attack on Freedom of Speech

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    Turkey Bans Sputnik News Agency Website (25)
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    An OSCE representative expressed concern over Internet freedom in Turkey after Ankara's decision to block Sputnik news agency’s website.

    Earlier in the day, the Turkish Telecommunications Department confirmed that a decision had been made to block the Sputnik website within the country. 

    "This blocking is only the latest in a series of issues that I have voiced over the years with regard to freedom of expression on the Internet in Turkey," Dunja Mijatovic siad in a statement, as quoted by the organization. 

    Mijatovic cited the country's Law 5651 regarding internet regulation as the root of the problems, and called on Turkey to reform it. 

    "Blocking websites is a highly disproportionate measure. It impedes on the public's right to access information on the Internet and negatively impacts media pluralism and free expression," Mijatovic stressed.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry refused to comment on the website blocking. Earlier on Friday, Sputnik's Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said the blocking was a sign of censorship and lack of freedom of speech in Turkey.

    Turkey's crackdown on journalists and restrictions on freedom of speech was previously criticized by the international community, including the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, Russia and the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organization.    

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    Turkey Bans Sputnik News Agency Website (25)

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