A group of computer hackers known as Anonymous carried out early on Monday a series of cyberattacks on Turkish government websites in retaliation for violent police response to anti-government protests.
Several Anonymous messages in its Twitter blog provide links to the sites, including those of President Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, that have been denied public access.
Hackers normally use distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to knock their targets offline.
Turkey’s Hürriyet Daily News reported on Monday that some Turkish media websites have also been targeted by Anonymous for “for failing to adequately cover the events.”
The planned demolition of Gezi Park in central Istanbul sparked mass rallies in the city on Saturday, prompting police to use tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protesters. Violent clashes between protesters and police continued in Istanbul and the capital, Ankara, on Sunday.
The rally in Istanbul triggered more than 230 separate protests in 67 cities across the country, according to Sky News.
Turkey’s Interior Minister Muammer Guler said on Sunday that more than 1,700 people had been arrested in the unrest nationwide, adding that 58 civilians and 115 security officers had been injured over several days of protests.
The United States and the European Union and have already urged the Turkish government to exercise restraint, while Amnesty International has condemned the use of tear gas by Turkish police as “a breach of international human rights standards.”
Anonymous declares Internet attacks in support of Turkish protests
Anonymous vows to kick off a worldwide action which will “bring the Turkish government to its knees.” With #opTurkey, the hacktivist collective plans to “attack every Internet and communications asset of the Turkish government.”
Anonymous claims to have taken down several websites across Turkey, targeting municipal governments in Mersin and Izmir as well the Gebze Institute of Technology.