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Turkey Blocks Russian State-Run Sputnik News Agency

Turkish authorities have blocked the website of the Russian state-run news agency Sputnik, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Friday, citing chief editor of Sputnik in Turkey Tural Kerimov.

The blocking was confirmed by Turkey's TIB telecommunications authority, Kerimov told the news agency. He added that an official request was sent to the agency asking to clarify the situation.

A representative of Turkey's telecommunications agency told RIA Novosti that the blocking was temporary, the final decision on this matter will be taken by a court.

Access to Sputnik's website in Turkey was blocked on Thursday evening.

RIA Novosti links this move with the statements made by the Russian president during his three-hour call-in television show, that took place hours before the blocking.

President Vladimir Putin said that “Turkey has been, and remains, a friend and partner of Russia. However, problems arise with the leaders of countries whose responses to situations are inadequate.” He also said that “Turkish authorities are not so much fighting with the radicals, but cooperating with them.”

Sputnik's editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan described the incident as “another act of rigid censorship in the country, where there is no freedom of speech.”

This is not the first time that Turkish authorities have restricted access to online information sources.

In March last year, Turkish authorities imposed a temporary ban on Youtube and Twitter, according to the RBC news website.

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