Jan 16, 2020

Wikipedia returns to Turkey after lengthy government ban

Erdogan takes a break from updating his Wikipedia profile to catch some wrestling. Photo: Yasin Bulbul/Turkish Presidency Press Office/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Wikipedia is returning to Turkey after the country's supreme court ruled that banning it violated freedom of expression.

The big picture: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government has a long history of blocking information it doesn't like. It has jailed dozens of journalists, and in this case, it went so far as to block one of the world's most-visited sites for nearly three years.

How it happened: "Four articles in particular raised its ire: references to the government’s ties with militants, a description of the Turkish republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as a 'benevolent dictator' and the financial dealings of Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan’s son-in-law," per Al-Monitor:

  • "Turkey became just the second country, along with China, to fully block the website. Others including France, Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have censored parts of the website over the years."
  • "Turkey leads the world in requests to Twitter to remove content, submitting more than 6,000 in the first half of last year. Facebook acquiesced to demands by authorities and restricted 2,300 items in 2018."

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Syria's Idlib offensive forces civilians to flee, pits Turkey against Russia

Fleeing Idlib. Photo: Rami Al Sayed/AFP via Getty Images

Bashar al-Assad’s Russia-backed offensive on Syria's northwestern enclave of Idlib — home to the last rebel-held areas — has forced some 150,000 civilians to flee over the past two weeks and led to direct clashes with Turkey.

Why it matters: David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee, tells Axios that the future of Idlib is being decided by an “arm wrestle between the Russians and the Turks” with “no U.S. engagement” and massive humanitarian consequences.

Go deeperArrowFeb 6, 2020 - World

Exclusive: Netflix reveals its 9 government takedown requests

Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

Netflix has taken down just nine pieces of content around the world in response to written government demands since it was founded 23 years ago, the company revealed for the first time.

Why it matters: As Netflix aims to grow its business abroad, it wants to be transparent about the way it handles censorship efforts in markets it looks to invest in.

Putin’s stock market soars

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Despite "tough" U.S. sanctions, Russia's economy is picking up steam, and its financial markets are delivering massive rewards to investors.

Why it matters: In an era in which the U.S. has made economic punishment its foreign policy weapon of choice, Russian President Vladimir Putin and others continue to defy the U.S. and are finding the consequences to be quite bearable.

Go deeperArrowJan 22, 2020 - World