Turkey has blocked access to the Wikileaks website shortly after it posted the contents of hundreds of thousands of private emails sent by members of Turkey’s ruling AK party.
Downplaying the importance of the emails, Turkish officials said that access to the site was blocked only to protect the privacy and phone numbers of the MPs.
The country’s internet watchdog TIB blocked access to Wikileaks on Tuesday evening, just after it posted the emails, which include AK party members’ current phone numbers.
Al Jazeera confirmed the authenticity of the emails and phone numbers of least ten MPs, which were attached to one of the emails shared by the website.
The internet authority said an “administrative measure” had been taken against Wikileaks, a generic term it uses on websites it blocks in Turkey.
“Part one of the series covers 762 mail boxes beginning with ‘A’ through to ‘I’ containing 294,548 email bodies together with many thousands of attached files,” the website said.
“The emails come from ‘akparti.org.tr’, the AKP’s primary domain … It should be noted that emails associated with the domain are mostly used for dealing with the world, as opposed to the most sensitive internal matters.”
The Wikileaks website said more emails and attached files would be published soon.
The release of the emails comes at a sensitive time in Turkey.
At least 290 people died and thousands of civilian and military state employees were sacked or detained after a breakaway military faction attempted to overthrow the government on Friday, bombing state buildings and killing civilians and security forces.
The government has cracked down on suspected backers of the coup which was launched to bring down the civilian government. As of Monday night, more than 8,000 people have been arrested over alleged involvement in the failed coup.