Blog Post

Turkish Government Blocking Access to Google Sites

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Updated: The Turkish government appears to have blocked access to some or all of Google’s (s goog) services in that country, according to reports from several news outlets, as well as Turkish citizens on Twitter and elsewhere. It’s not clear whether this is a deliberate attempt to block all of Google’s websites and services, or whether the latest access restrictions are related to the government’s ongoing attempts to block YouTube. Access to Google’s video service was cut off in 2008 after complaints that videos critical of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk — the founder of modern Turkey — were available on the YouTube site. Criticism of Turkey, or any “insult to Turkishness,” is a criminal offence in that country.

A Google spokesman said in an emailed statement, “We have received reports that some Google applications are unable to be accessed in Turkey. The difficulty in accessing some Google services in Turkey appears to be linked to the ongoing ban on YouTube. We are working to get our services back up as soon as possible.” Meanwhile, a report at a website called The National Turk, which appears to be based at least in part on news stories from the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, says that:

The Telecommunication and communication Ministry (TIB), a government body that can control Internet accessibility in Turkey is attempting to block certain IP’s (Internet Protocol Addresses) belonging to Google due to “legal reason”. Some ADSL company’s and Internet services providers have sent their customers E-mail’s and letters informing them of inaccessibility or the slow use of certain Google services [sic throughout].

According to the report, the Turkish communications ministry has also tried to block Facebook several times. ISPs in the country have reportedly told users that they would suffer “accessibility problems” to Google’s home page in Turkey, websites that use Google Analytics, and use of the Google Toolbar. Another Turkish news site, Hurriyet Daily News, says that the access restrictions could be a result of the government trying to block specific DNS addresses that relate to Google, as part of its ongoing attempts to block YouTube.

Turkish citizens on Twitter and other social networks such as FriendFeed have also reported access problems, and have been sharing comments about the blockage using hashtags such as TurkeyCensorGoogle and TurkeyGoogleBan, as well as NoGoogleNoWeb. Access to YouTube was blocked by a Turkish court order after government complaints that videos critical of Ataturk were available on the site. The Turkish law that makes it an offence to “insult Turkishness” has led to the arrest of writers and journalists in that country, as well as the killing of newspaper editor Hrant Dink in 2007.

Update: According to reports from Turkish news sources, the government is saying that Google is responsible for the range of IP addresses that are being blocked due to the court order regarding YouTube, and therefore it is up to the company to correct the problem. Thanks to Robin Wauters for the tip.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Hank Ashby

9 Responses to “Turkish Government Blocking Access to Google Sites”

  1. powerscape

    I can surf without any restrictions in my macintosh with NetShade in Turkiye. There’re tons of proxy applications. Just choose one app for you. It’s the easy way.

    If you’re a newbie to pc and you do not know to use any of these ways, your pc will take automatic assigned dns ip, and you’ll be effected ban. Google have got office in Turkey. Whenever google pay their taxes; this problem will solve. Right now, I enjoy using all google services with high speed, watching youtube, etc with NetShade in Turkiye.

  2. Lucille

    Mr. Dink’s death had nothing to do with insulting Turkishness – it was a politcally-motivated murder by groups interested in creating trouble for Turkey for a variety of reasons. I am glad Powerscape pointed out that there is also a tax issue involved with the government of Turkey and Google. I don’t know about that, but I know that Turkey is not “stupid turkie’s” and people who don’t know what they are talking about should keep still. Meanwhile, I would like to find out if my access problem to my Google-owned web albums site is because of this problem or if it is some technical problem with my web connection. Has anyone else had this problem? Thank you.

  3. powerscape

    Lawmakers are very silly persons.They supposed to block some web sites.But everybody can enter google,youtube etc.Praticaly, nothing banned in Turkiye.Because there’re tons of way to entering blocking sites and whole country know how to use it. e.g. proxy programs, sites, several ip numbers, ghost ways… However Prime Minister Erdogan watches blocked youtube and suggest peoples to use it and added that people also know how to open blocked sites. Still Turkish users have got high user ratings in these sites.This events occurs because of youtube ip pool complexity with google. And google still do not answer to Turkish government for their tax payments for a long time. So, TAX is the center of it.

  4. turkey lies was publish therefor they not allow’d utube ..
    why ? bcz the blame israel and now israel return back with showing turkie’s lies !!! stupid turkie’s!!!

  5. thingy

    and then again, maybe it has to do with the govrement wanting the public to stay in the dark regarding oposite opinions regarding what happened on the Ravi Marmara.

    there is a big campain to de-legitimize israel that is going on at the moment in turkey. listen to the rhetoric being used by Arduan & co, in the turkish press.

  6. Hermias

    I have used to TOR network to get around this.
    We run a business in Turkey, and I find this a total insult on my Freedoms.
    Ass a UK citizen, I respect Turkey and it’s laws. however, this is in my view an unlawful decision.
    I also find the response to the Utube issue from the Turkish government ignorant and juvenile.