Internet Shutdowns

Local Impact

On 6 February 2023, a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck southern and central Türkiye and northern and western Syria, resulting in more than 36,000 deaths. On 8 February, Twitter was inaccessible via major Turkish mobile providers, as online criticism of the government’s response to the disaster mounted.

Social messaging apps are often used as an essential tool during emergencies. Blocking access impacts the ability of citizens to get accurate and timely information and it also becomes harder for citizens to contact family members and friends in other parts of the country, or in other countries. The efforts of first responders and healthcare providers can also be hindered if a shutdown prevents their ability to effectively coordinate and communicate.

Data and Analysis

In the aftermath of the earthquake (on 8th February 2023), OONI data collected from Türkiye provides evidence that the block was implemented through targeted throttling and DNS interference.

Chart: OONI Probe testing of Twitter ( on multiple networks in Türkiye between 9th January 2023 to 9th February 2023 (source: OONI MAT).

Across networks, OONI data shows anomalies between 13:21 UTC to 21:33 UTC on 8th February 2023 (though the first anomaly is observed as early as 08:31 UTC on AS202561), suggesting that access to Twitter was restricted in Türkiye on that day.

OONI data analysis found signs of Twitter throttling on at least 4 ASNs in Turkey.

Graph: TLS handshake time for on 4 ASNs in Türkiye on 8th February 2023 (source: OONI data).

From the above graph, we can see that, starting from ~ 13:30 UTC, the TLS handshake time for IPs associated with grows substantially. Specifically, successful TLS handshakes took more than 3 seconds to complete, whereas they previously took ~ 70ms.

However, on other networks, such as Vodafone (AS15897), OONI data shows that access to Twitter was restricted in different ways. Specifically, Vodafone appears to have blocked access to Twitter by means of DNS tampering, since OONI measurement data shows that they returned the localhost IP as part of DNS resolution.

Learn more through OONI’s report.

Economic Impact
USD $2,313,041
Shutdown Type
Service Blocking
Affected Services