Egypt blocks Daily Sabah and other Turkey-based websites, widening media blackout


Egypt has blocked all websites of Daily Sabah and the web pages of several other news outlets based in Turkey Sunday, expanding a media blackout initiated last month to curb diverse media.

According to the Egyptian news website Mada Masr, the number of websites blocked in Egypt has now reached 54 following the most recent blocking spree. The list now includes Daily Sabah's English, Arabic and German web pages as well as Turk Press, Arab Turkey, Akhbar Turkiya and Akhbar al-Alam.

The Cairo-based Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) confirmed that access to the websites has been blocked but could not determine when the block was implemented.

Egypt blocked access to a number of news websites in May including Al-Jazeera, Huffington Post Arabic and Al-Borsa, a widely read financial newspaper that generally avoids political discourse and tends to reflect the views of a largely pro-state business community. The government also blocked the English-language Daily News Egypt and Mada Masr.

Egyptian security sources claimed that the websites were blocked for allegedly being affiliated with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood or for receiving funding from Qatar, however, some of the websites have no Islamist or Qatari affiliations and carry out an independent editorial policy.

The new move suggests a more expansive attempt to control private media coverage as the country, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, severed ties with Qatar this week over allegations that the country supports terrorism.

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