(CNN) — Access to Twitter has been restricted in Turkey, according to reports by an internet monitoring company as well as journalists and academics tracking the country’s response to the devastating earthquake this week.
On Wednesday, the network monitoring firm NetBlocks said traffic filtering had been applied at the internet service provider level that was preventing Twitter users from reaching the social media site.
The report coincided with user claims that Twitter was inaccessible in the country, and as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began a tour of the affected region. Earlier Wednesday, the Turkish Police Force said it had arrested five people and detained 18 after sharing “provocative posts.”
“While all rescue teams are communicating with Twitter, it’s a good idea to turn off Twitter to silence dissent. Good for you,” prominent Turkish journalist Fatih Altayli wrote Wednesday on his Twitter account. Altayli has been coordinating aid efforts through Twitter since Monday.
Turkish actor and comedian Cem Yilmaz tweeted: “Is there an explanation for the restriction on Twitter when it may be useful for saving lives? While many benefits are obvious for 3 days. At a time like this? I give up.”
Some Twitter users made appeals to Twitter CEO Elon Musk for help, tagging his Twitter handle in an apparent effort to flag the issue for his attention. In a reply to one user, Musk tweeted: “We are reaching out to understand more.”
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