Turkey has warned online encyclopedia Wikipedia – which is now banned in the country – over content it perceived as depicting the nation as supporting terrorist organisations, Turkish Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan has said.

Speaking to broadcaster NTV, the minister also demanded Wikipedia opens a representative office in Turkey and be eligible to pay taxes, Reuters reported on 11 May.

Ankara blocked all language editions of the website on 29 April, in a move that raised concern about censorship in the country. Turkey's telecommunications watchdog justified the ban by citing a law that authorises the country to block access to websites perceived as a threat to national security.

The law in question is believed to be No 5651, which regulates internet broadcasting and "fighting against crimes committed through internet broadcasting".

The communications ministry accused Wikipedia of trying to run a "smear campaign" against the country.

Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, opposed the ban and called on Ankara to restore full access to the website. However, a court in Turkey rejected Wikimedia Foundation's appeal against the blocking, Reuters reported on 9 May.

Turkey has been accused of cracking down on freedom of speech following a failed coup d'etat last year, something Ankara has denied.

The Turkish government alleged US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind the 15 July failed coup, which resulted in the death of at least 265 people.

The failed attempt to overthrow the Turkish government was followed by a crackdown on Gulen's supporters in the country. An estimated 120, 000 people were fired from their posts following the failed coup.

Following an April referendum that granted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sweeping new powers, the country has suspended at least 14,000 civil servants, police and military personnel.

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