Turkish court blocks Rudaw over ‘terror propaganda’
This was a part of a governmental plan that also blocked additional websites and several anti-government Twitter accounts
By News Desk - February 23 2023

Rudaw Studio
(Photo Credit: Rudaw Media Network)

A Turkish court prohibited access to Iraqi-Kurdish news outlet Rudaw in Turkiye on 22 February, as Ankara deems the website to assist and promote “terror propaganda.”

Ankara and Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have maintained positive relations for several years; however, since 2022, Turkish forces have increased military operations in Iraq due to its rift with Kurdish militant groups, which Turkiye holds responsible for the Istanbul bombing in November 2022.

Rudaw broadcasts its news in several languages, including Turkish. The court’s decision to block the site was part of Ankara’s government’s larger plan, which prohibits additional websites, including sites that sell Kurdish language books and dozens of anti-government Twitter accounts.

The Ankara Fourth Criminal Court of Peace recently ruled that social media platforms such as Twitter and Youtube have been utilized by “terror organizations” such as the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the People’s Defense Units (YPG).

“Although the aforementioned accounts act as if they are not members of the organization, it has been determined that they mostly communicate with accounts that are seen as the media/social media face of the organization and that the posts with disinformation are managed by the same social media accounts that serve the organization,” the court disclosed.

Last month, Iraq’s President Abdul Latif Rashid disclosed that he informed Turkiye that normalizing relations between Ankara and Baghdad is not yet possible due to continuous Turkish violations of Iraq’s sovereignty. 

“To be honest, the stance Turkiye has in terms of entering Iraq, whether through army or aircraft, has embarrassed the Iraqi government, the Kurdistan Regional Government, and both the Iraqi and Kurdish people; they all disapprove of this in every way,” Rashid said.

According to a report by The Cradle, Turkiye has 38 illegal bases in Iraq in order to create a 40 km-deep security belt between the two West Asian nations.

In November 2022, Iraq redeployed its troops to its shared border with Turkiye following Baghdad’s condemnation of Ankara and Tehran for their attacks in the Iraqi Kurdish Region (IKR).

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