Ankara bombing: Turkish government blocks Facebook and Twitter following Ankara explosion

State-run broadcasting authorities have also issued a ban on media covering the explosions Turkey's capital
By @s_rituparna on
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Electronic cables are silhouetted next to the logo of Facebook in this September 23, 2014 illustration photo in Sarajevo. Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Turkish authorities have reportedly banned Facebook and Twitter after shocking images of the suicide car bombing that killed 37 people and injured 125 others in Ankara on Sunday were shared on social media.

According to The Telegraph, horrifying images of the blast were shared across Twitter and Facebook just hours after the bombing, which saw a vehicle laden with explosives go off near a park at Ankara's main square, Kizila, prompting Turkey’s telecommunications authority to block access to both social media sites. 

Turkey has been known to ban media outlets from broadcasting or printing images of scenes of explosions, such as after last month's car bombing which killed 29. However, it is believed this is the first time Twitter and Facebook have effectively been given a gag order.

Several residents and local users also complained about extremely slow or limited internet access to those social media platforms.

As reported by RT, the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RUTK) have also imposed a ban on broadcast media from showing some aspects of the explosion. This was confirmed by a journalist from Today’s Zaman on Twitter.

The state-run TRT station is the only television network allowed to broadcast images of the tragic Turkey blast, as reported by the Independent.

Turkey began enforcing control over internet use in 2014, when Turkey's president Abdullah Gul signed a bill empowering the Telecommunications Communications Presidency (TIB) to block pages of Internet providers displaying troubling or divisive content or content considered to be an invasion of privacy.

In January last year, the Turkish government blocked all sites showing French magazine Charlie Hebdo's front page, which featured a cartoon of Mohammed. The government also reportedly announced an all-out media blackout to restrict the reports of Turkish intelligence services delivering arms to Syrian Islamist rebels.