Important Websites That Are Still Shut Down in Turkey

I am saying that these websites are important because when we don’t have these websites, we don’t have second alternative and business can get blocked. This can make things hard for those who have commercial business and who are planning trips. Let’s take a look at these websites:

1. Booking.com

Since 29 March 2017, approximately for 2 years, when you write this domain to address bar, you will see “Unfortunately, it is only possible for our customers in Turkey to book international properties with us right now. We are working on resolving the issues that have prevented us from offering you our full range of services. We apologise for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued custom with Booking.com.”

I really don’t know whether it is about competition, tax exemption or opening a branch in Turkey. There is always different accusation. We don’t have any information whether the site will be back on. In 31 October 2018, Ministry of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy stated, “they should come here and pay taxes”.

You can access to booking.com with VPN and book your hotel with TL. Although you cannot use the site from Turkey, many people in other countries use Booking and website is working with Turkish hotels.

2. PayPal

This company was actively operating in Turkey since 2004 but after law amendments in 06 June 2016, this company ceased operations as it cannot get Banking Regulation And Supervision Agency (BRSA) licence. Both BRSA and PayPal explained this situation but details were not given. While BRSA asked PayPal to build a server in Turkey and store these data in turkey, PayPal stated that it is possible to store the data in Turkey but payment transactions will be completed on company servers (for example in Russia). Of course, the damage was made on people doing foreign business.

Freelancers getting paid over different services like Themeforest and Etsy are blocked. While PayPal continues to increase service quality and diversity around the world, we missed this out. Since there isn’t any alternative with same quality, you can see various bac-door PayPal account operation videos but none of these work 100%.

3. Wikipedia

Although these two service are opened without VPN, it isn’t possible to access Wikipedia without VPN. In 29 April 2017, this website was shut down in Turkey due to “Foreign intervention to Syrian civil war” article. Although President of Wikimedia Foundation, Katherine Maher stated that these articles are removed, there is access restriction. It isn’t clear whether an official application is made. Although number of Turkish contents rank 30th with 255.000, there are more than 800.000 Turkish users.

In March 2018, Wikipedia expressed that they missed Turkey with #WeMissTurkey, it seems like this lovely platonic gesture isn’t loved back.

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