11/09/2013 12:46 BST | Updated 11/11/2013 05:12 GMT

Turkey Censors Grindr Gay Dating App

Gay dating app Grindr has been censored and blocked in Turkey.

Both the online database through its app and its website are now inaccessible in Turkey, reported KAOS GL, the main Turkish LGBT association.

According to an online message displayed when attempting to access Grinder from Turkey, the block has been ordered by the 14th Criminal Court of Istanbul as a as a "protection measure."

Instead of Grindr, a user trying to access its site in Turkey receives a message stating: "The decision no 2013/406 dated 26/08/2013, which is given about this website ( within the context of protection measure, of "İstanbul Anadolu 14. Sulh CM" (İstanbul Anatolia 14th Criminal Court of Peace) has been implemented by 'Telekomünikasyon İletişim Başkanlığı' (Telecommunications Communication Presidency)".

KAOS GL's lawyer, Hayriye Kara, commented: "The court decision is not published online and so we have no access to the procuration and therefore do not yet know what was the reason for the censorship.

"It is most likely related to 'general morality', an ambiguous term used often against trans sex workers," she stated.

Ömer Akpınar, Media Coordinator for KAOS GL slammed the Turkish government for the censorship of the dating app, stating: "Censoring Grindr is the last step in arbitrary limitations of freedom in Turkey. Any lifestyle or identity, which does not fit to the state's ideology, is being deprived of their rights and freedoms.

"The Turkish government, through Ministry of Family and Social Policies, uses the discourse on the 'traditional heterosexual family' increasingly as a pretext to suppress LGBT rights.

"This is part of a larger trend of blocking the freedom of information in the wake of the Gezi Park demonstrations.

"In its justifications for suppressing freedom of information under the guise of 'responsible reporting' the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is trying to create a division between 'good and bad citizens', while LGBT people has never been considered as equal citizens all through the history of Turkish Republic."

UPDATE: Grindr CEO and founder Joel Simkhai said: "We are very upset to hear that the Istanbul Anatolia 14th Criminal Court of Peace blocked Grindr as a "protection measure." Grindr was created to help facilitate the connection between gay men - especially in countries where the LGBT community is oppressed. We hope that this is only temporary and quickly gets overturned as our community should not be silenced."