Saudi Arabia blocks Turkish news sites Anadolu, TRT

Saudi Arabia blocks Turkish news sites Anadolu, TRT amid continued Ankara-Riyadh tensions
2 min read
12 April, 2020
Turkey's official Anadolu and TRT Arabic platforms were both blocked by Saudi authorities on Saturday.
Relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia have deteriorated since 2018 [Getty]
Saudi authorities on Saturday blocked two prominent Turkish news websites, according to activists online, after an online campaign calling for action against the platforms.

Turkey's official Anadolu and TRT Arabic platforms were both inaccessible by activists in the Saudi kingdom, screen shots shared on Twitter showed.

The kingdom has not made any official announcements on the move, however an email allegedly sent from Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Information referred to "violations of the ministry's regulations".

The move also comes after a social media campaign by pro-Saudi regime accounts calling for the Turkish news platforms to be banned.

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey have worsened since the murder of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.

Turkish prosecutors last month charged 20 suspects including two former top aides to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the brutal 2018 murder of Riyadh critic Khashoggi.

Turkish prosecutors accuse Saudi Arabia's deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri and the royal court's media tsar Saud al-Qahtani of leading the operation against Khashoggi and giving orders to a Saudi hit team. 

Turkey carried out its own investigation after being unhappy with Saudi Arabia's explanations. 

The Istanbul prosecutor's office said in a statement that Assiri and Qahtani were charged with "instigating the deliberate and monstrous killing, causing torment".

The murder caused relations between Ankara and Riyadh -  longstanding rivals - to worsen. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed Ankara will not give up the case.

"This happened in my country, how am I not going to follow up on that? Of course I'm going to follow up. This is our responsibility," Erdogan told Fox News last year.

Saudis, who enjoy investing and holidaying in Turkey, were urged to boycott the country last year.

Read more: Mohammed bin Salman: The rise to power of Saudi Arabia's Machiavellian prince

Turkey meanwhile is a key backer of Qatar, especially after a Riyadh-led economic blockade began against the Gulf state in 2017, and is accused of supporting groups including the Muslim Brotherhood.

Saudi Arabia views the Brotherhood as an existential threat.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay connected