Turkey blocks access to Saudi, Emirati state news websites

Turkish authorities blocked access to Saudi and United Arab Emirates state news websites on Sunday, amid an ongoing spat over the countries’ media networks, Reuters reported.

"Internet users in Turkey trying to access the sites of Saudi news agency SPA, the UAE's WAM news agency and more than a dozen other sites saw a message saying that they were blocked under a law governing internet publications in Turkey," Reuters said.

The move came days after Saudi authorities blocked Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency and state broadcaster TRT.

Turkey has responded by banning Saudi-linked media outlets, including the Turkish-language website of the UK-based newspaper the Independent, a joint venture with the Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG).

"We believe the tensions between Saudi Arabia and Turkey reflected on us," Reuters quoted Independent Türkçe's editor Nevzat Çicek as saying. The Turkish decision looks as if it was "retaliation against Saudi Arabia", he said.

Tensions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia have escalated again after the prosecutor's office in Istanbul last month prepared an indictment against 20 suspects over the killing of Saudi journalist and activist Jamal Khashoggi, including the former deputy head of Saudi Arabia's general intelligence and a former royal adviser.