Twitter restricted in Turkey in aftermath of earthquake

Network data confirm the restriction of Twitter on multiple internet providers in Turkey as of Wednesday 8 February 2023. The incident comes as authorities raise concerns over disinformation online, although no formal explanation has been provided. Service was restored the next morning after state media reported that Turkish authorities had held a meeting with Twitter’s head of policy on disinformation and the need for content takedowns.

Real-time NetBlocks metrics indicate that Twitter has been restricted by means of SNI filtering on major internet providers TTNet and Turkcell, and subsequently by other operators, with aggregated reachability statistics collected from an initial set of 40 vantage points. This class of disruption can be worked around using VPN services, which are able to circumvent government internet censorship measures.

What’s happening in Turkey?

A series of deadly earthquakes shook southern and central Turkey on Monday, with thousands of casualties reported. The incident has also had an observable impact on internet connectivity in affected regions, although that impact is distinct from the filtering which has been implemented intentionally at the ISP level.

Turkey has an extensive history of social media restrictions during national emergencies and safety incidents. These have been implemented variously on the basis of national security, to prevent the sharing of harmful images, or to prevent the spread of alleged disinformation.

NetBlocks recommends against the use of internet filtering due to its disproportionate impact on the public’s right to freely access and impart knowledge.

Further reading:



Internet performance and service reachability are determined via NetBlocks web probe privacy-preserving analytics. Each measurement consists of latency round trip time, outage type and autonomous system number aggregated in real-time to assess service availability and latency in a given country. Network providers and locations are enumerated as vantage point pairs. The root cause of a service outage may be additionally corroborated by means of traffic analysis and manual testing as detailed in the report.

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