Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram blocked in Turkey as Idlib military crisis escalates

Pierluigi Paganini February 28, 2020

Network data collected by the NetBlocks internet observatory confirm that Turkey has blocked access to social media as Idlib military crisis escalates

Network data collected by the NetBlocks internet observatory confirm that the Turkish authorities have blocked access to social media following allegations of an attack on Turkish troops in Idlib, Syria on Thursday 27 February 2020.

Major social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, were not reachable since 11:30 p.m. local time (8:30 p.m. UTC). The access was first blocked via national provider Turk Telecom (AS9121), but later other service providers applied the government restrictions.

Partial restrictions have also affected YouTube and WhatsApp at the same time.

“Although no broadcast ban has yet been issued to the public, it is understood that the measures are intended to protect details surrounding troop and equipment deployments.” reported NetBlocks. “The restrictions come amid a dispute over the number of injured and wounded in the attack.”

At the time of writing, VPNs are still working in the country and could be used to bypass restrictions.


This isn’t the first time that the government adopted similar restrictions, when the Operation Euphrates Shield begun on Thursday, 25 August 2016, the government blocked major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, and Instagram.

In December 2016, the Turkish blocked social media in the country to prevent the sharing of a video of the executions of Turkish soldiers by the IS group.

“Turkey passed an internet “killswitch” into law in 2016, permitting the ICTA regulatory authority to partially or entirely suspend internet access due to war or national security needs without the need for ministerial oversight.”added Netblocks.

Let me thank the Netblocks organizations for its precious work, monitoring Internet availability worldwide is an essential service that could help analysts to better understand local ongoing phenomena.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Turkey)

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