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Saudi Arabia bans Anadolu Agency website: reports

On Twitter, media outlets, journalists say Anadolu Agency blocked by decision of Media Ministry

Saudi Arabia bans Anadolu Agency website: reports


Saudi Arabia has banned Anadolu Agency's website, according to Saudi local media and activists.

Saudi-based Al-Marsad newspaper said Saturday that it "knew from its sources that many Turkish media outlets have been blocked."

"One of these blocked media outlets is Anadolu Agency," the newspaper claimed.

"Anadolu Agency's official website was blocked in the kingdom," said Saudi News 50, an unofficial Twitter account dedicated to sharing Saudi-related new.

Saudi Twitter users, including media outlets, journalists and well-known public figures, confirmed the blocking of the Arabic version of the agency’s website in the kingdom by a decision of the Media Ministry.

Some of these users published pictures of an email from the Saudi ministry, saying that "the website was blocked for violating the ministry's regulations."

As of Monday, Saudi Arabia was still yet to issue an official announcement.

Journalist Khalaf Al-Dossary, a member of the Saudi Press Association, tweeted that there was "a confirmation of blocking of Anadolu Agency," with a video showing the ministry’s notification.

A number of pro-regime social media "trolls" dubbed "the electronic flies" attacked Anadolu Agency on Twitter last week via a hashtag demanding that the agency should be withheld, justifying this by claims of misrepresentation and abuse against their country.

For many followers of the Saudi affairs, this attack appeared to be an "official preamble" to the ban.

On Monday, Anadolu Agency marked its 100th anniversary as it was officially launched on April 6, 1920.

On this occasion, many political researchers and columnists from Arab countries applauded Turkey’s global news provider for its professional and ethical coverage, valuing the agency's eagerness to be objective unlike what the Saudi "electronic flies" try to promote.

*Bassel Ibrahim contributed to this report from Ankara.

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