Wikipedia is the latest website to feel the wrath of Turkey's government, with Culture and Tourism Minister Omer Celik slamming the popular Internet encyclopedia for referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an article on authoritarianism Hurriyet Daily News reported.
"Mentioning Turkey alongside the [North] Korean regime and the [Abdel Fattah] el-Sisi regime in Egypt is just a kind of operation, not an intellectual analysis," Celik tweeted on Sept. 14, claiming that the Wikipedia editors had an "eclipse of reason" while adding the Erdogan reference.
As of Sept. 16, the article referred to Erdogan after stating that "authoritarianism and democracy are not fundamentally opposed to one another."
"It is thus definitely possible for democracies to possess strong authoritarian elements, for both feature a form of submission to authority. For instance, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, was elected three times, but shows strong authoritarian tendencies," the Wikipedia article stated, citing more than 10 sources, from the Washington Post to the Guardian.
Celik continued his salvoes on Twitter on Sept. 16, claiming that Wikipedia's "reliability has reached below zero."
"When you conduct a study of mental archaeology on people who label Turkey as authoritarian [regime] on Wikipedia and its kind, you find such documents," Celik said, attaching a Turkish newspaper article from 1960 in which the "world media" reportedly praised the military coup that happened in Turkey the same year as a "coup for democracy."
While almost anyone who can access the site can edit nearly all of its articles, a 2005 survey published in Nature magazine based on a comparison of 42 science articles with Encyclopædia Britannica found that Wikipedia's level of accuracy approached Encyclopædia Britannica's, with both having similar low rates of "serious errors."