Turkey has blocked access to the WikiLeaks website. The action came as a response hours after it leaked thousands of ruling party emails just as Ankara grapples with the aftermath of a failed military coup.
WikiLeaks on Tuesday released 294,546 emails along with thousands of attached files from 762 mail boxes from the AK Party dating from 2010 to July 6 this year. Obtained before the attempted coup, the date of their publication was brought forward "in response to the government's post-coup purges", WikiLeaks said on its website.
“Today, 11pm Anakara Time, WikiLeaks releases part one of the AKP Emails. AKP, or the Justice & Development Party, is the ruling party of Turkey and is the political force behind the country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” website reports.
The source of the emails was not connected to the coup plotters or to a rival political party or state, WikiLeaks said.
WikiLeaks previously claimed that the Turkish government would attempt to censor the distribution of the documents, and urged the Turkish public to be ready to bypass any government attempts at blocking access to the material.
"Turks will likely be censored to prevent them reading our pending release of 100k+ docs on politics leading up to the coup," the organisation said on Monday via Twitter.
WikiLeaks later reported about "sustained attack" on their website, following its announcement of the imminent publication of the AKP emails.
"We are unsure of the true origin of the attack. The timing suggests a Turkish state power faction or its allies. We will prevail & publish," WikiLeaks said on Twitter.
Turkey's Telecommunications Communications Board said on Wednesday that an "administrative measure" had been taken against the website - the term it commonly uses when blocking access to sites.
"Erdogan government officially orders WikiLeaks to be blocked after publishing 300k emails from his party, AKP," WikiLeaks said on Twitter.
Turkey routinely uses Internet shutdowns in response to political events, which critics and human rights advocates see as part of a broader attack on the media and freedom of expression.