Turkey blocks access to WikiLeaks after 300K emails released

The Turkish government has blocked access to the WikiLeaks website, according to BTK, the country's telecommunications regulator.

Access to the whistleblower website was blocked hours after WikiLeaks released almost 300,000 emails from the Justice and Development Party (AKP Party), the country's ruling party Tuesday. The emails are from “akparti.org.tr”, the domain of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's AKP Party, and date from 2010 until last month.

In a statement, WikiLeaks said it moved forward publication of the documents “in response to the government's post-coup purges.” WikiLeaks said it has verified the material and the source, and stated that the source of the emails “is not connected, in any way, to the elements behind the attempted coup, or to a rival political party or state.”

Turkey's response to the failed coup last week resulted in the arrest or dismissal of more than 50,000 military, police, and government employees, including judges and teachers, according to the BBC.

Earlier this week, WikiLeaks tweeted that it was “under sustained attack” and blamed the Turkish government or its allies. “The timing suggests a Turkish state power faction or its allies,” the group wrote in a separate tweet.

Prior to the attack, WikiLeaks announced in a series of tweets plans to release the documents. The organisation had encouraged Turkish activists to anonymous browsers including the Tor browser after reports that the Turkish government had blocked access to social media during the events last week.