ISTANBUL – Turkey on Friday blocked access to social media sites Twitter and WhatsApp in an apparent attempt to quell political dissent following the detentions of 11 pro-Kurdish lawmakers in the mainly Kurdish southeast overnight, internet monitoring group said.

Access was being blocked by throttling, an expert from the monitoring group Turkey Blocks said, a method of slowing certain websites to the point where they are unusable.

TurkeyBlocks monitoring probes have identified throttling at the ISP level as the source of slowdowns, with the majority of internet users affected at the time of measurement.

The shutdown was first detected on national provider TTNet, Turkcell and subsequently on other major ISPs, with users of UyduNet and other smaller providers not yet affected at the time of writing.