Image Credit: Reuters

Istanbul: Twitter has been restricted in Turkey on Wednesday, the Netblocks internet observatory said, two days after a major earthquake that has killed more than 11,500 people in southern Turkey and northern Syria.

"Real-time network data show Twitter has been restricted in Turkey; the filtering is applied on major internet providers and comes as the public come to rely on the service in the aftermath of a series of deadly earthquakes," said Netblocks, which tracks connectivity across the globe.

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The Transportation and Infrastructure Ministry was not available for comment. The Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK), the institution that could impose such restrictions, comes under the transportation ministry.

Users of the platform including opposition figures, academics and non-governmental organisations protested the move, with communications already difficult in the quake zone due to limited reception.

"How come Twitter is restricted on a day communication saves lives? What kind of ineptitude?" the head of the DEVA opposition party, Ali Babacann said on Twitter.

Since the quake hit on Monday, Turks have tweeted information about loved ones they cannot reach, reports of collapsed buildings in the area and coordination for aid.

Cyber rights expert and professor at Istanbul Bilgi University Yaman Akdeniz said on Twitter that the Turkish laws have several articles that could lead to a restriction of access to Twitter.

Akdeniz said it was immediately unclear what caused the restriction, adding that access to Tiktok was also limited in Turkey.