Turkey has blocked state-run news websites of Saudi Arabia and UAE following Saudi's decision to block Turkey state-run media websites, broadcasts earlier in April. Saudi had blocked Turkish media after Turkey prosecuted and indicted 20 Saudi persons on charges of murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The incident had led to a tiff between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Accordingly, websites including SPA (Saudi news agency), WAM news agency of UAE and other websites were blocked after Turkey formed a law governing internet publications in the country. Saudi Arabia had blocked Turkish state news agency Anadolu, and state broadcaster TRT in the beginning of April.

Turkey bans state-run news websites of Saudi Arabia and UAE

Jamal Khashoggi
Jamal Khashoggi YouTube grab

Tensions between both the states started when Turkey prosecutor's office stated that the indictment accused Ahmed al-Asiri, a close confidant and adviser to Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Saud al-Qahtani, who worked as legal advisor to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, of having "instigated premeditated murder with monstrous intent".

Jamal Khashoggi was killed on October 2, 2018, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. He was a Saudi dissident, a journalist working for The Washington Post, and also former general manager and editor-in-chief of the Al-Arab News Channel. It is claimed that Khashoggi was lured to come to the consulate building but when he arrived, he was ambushed, suffocated, and dismembered allegedly by a 15-member squad of Saudi assassins.

Khashoggi was said to be a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

The audio recordings and transcription of Khashoggi's words in the last moment were made public. The alleged assassins were termed to be close to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This murder had created global uproar putting Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the de facto ruler.

Khashoggi was said to be a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's actions. But indicting close aides of the Crown Prince led to Saudi banning websites connected to Turkey in any way. After nearly 20 days of Saudi's decision, now Turkey has also followed the suit and banned Saudi, UAE-based websites and broadcasts.

Referring Khashoggi's murder, earlier, Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan had said that the murder was ordered at the "highest levels" of the Saudi government. However, the Crown Prince denied any such order.