Days after Saudi Arabia blocked several Turkish news websites, Ankara responded stiffly by blocking dozens of Saudi and Saudi-supported websites.
Several Saudi news websites including the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) website as well as the London based Al Hayat owned by Prince Kahlid Bin Sultan and the Saudi owned Independent's Turkish website are currently blocked from Turkey to protect "national security". pic.twitter.com/kNqjM7eMDW— Yaman Akdeniz (@cyberrights) April 19, 2020
While tensions between the two countries are nothing new, Saudi Arabia and Turkey's disagreements seem to be in full-throttle once again with the two countries banning news from each other's sources.
Just last week, residents of Saudi Arabia reported their inability to access Turkish news websites including the Arabic version of the state-run news Anadolu Agency.
#حجب_المواقع_التركية— بن عويد #2030 ?? (@fdeet_alnssr) April 9, 2020
المواقع والحسابات التركية التي تتحدث العربية وهي اكثر من المواقع التركية اللتي تتحدث التركية وفي مقدمتها الأناضول، ليست مواقع وحسابات اعلامية هي حسابات ومواقع استخباراتية موجهه للدول العربية وفي مقدمتها السعودية
-هل يعقل هذه لغة اعلامية لوكالة رسمية pic.twitter.com/CE2P5wqs39
Translation: Arabic-speaking Turkish websites and accounts, especially Anadolu Agency, are nothing but tools for Turkish intelligence to attack Arab countries especially Saudi Arabia. How does this language represent an official news agency?"
Despite official silence, Saudi Arabian activists have long accused Turkey of spreading "false news that target Saudi policies, its royal family and the country's stability".
The regional competition between the two countries has been fuelling for years. Tensions, however, reached its highest point with the 2018 gruesome murder of Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and when Turkish police reported high-ranking Saudi involvement in the killing.
Saudi Arabia blocked access today to the websites of #Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency and public broadcaster TRT's Arabic edition.— Diego Cupolo (@DiegoCupolo) April 14, 2020
This comes 3 days after a Turkish court accepted an indictment for the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.https://t.co/52vXFTmU2j
And now Turkish social media users report of their inability to access Saudi media websites including the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) and the Turkish version of the Saudi-funded The Independent.
NEW — Turkey bans Saudi state media outlets such as @OKAZ_online and @spagov in a tit-for-tat development.— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) April 19, 2020
Saudi govt last week banned Arabic editions of publicly owned Turkish news outlets.
Turkey also blocked Saudi funded The Independent’s Turkish edition
Exchanging accusations between the two countries is becoming rampant on the Internet and with the online community. The current online war is currently between the citizens of both countries, a reminder of the rapidly-developing tensions that preceded the Saudi-Qatar crisis in the spring of 2017.