Grindr, a sex-date app that helps gay men in the same vicinity meet, has been blocked by the authorities in Turkey.
Turkish LGBT association Kaos GL reported on its website on Wednesday that Turkish users have not been able access the app since Tuesday.
It said that the Istanbul Anatolia 14th Criminal Court of Peace blocked Grindr as a “protection measure”.
Kaos GL’s lawyer, Hayriye Kara, said it is very likely that the decision is related to “general morality,” an ambiguous term often used against transgender sex workers.
Attempts to visit the Grindr website within Turkey are met with a message from the Telecommunications Communication Presidency stating that it has been blocked.
Ömer Akpınar, Media Coordinator for Kaos GL, told the Huffington Post: “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.”
The popular Grindr app has previously been a source of controversy. In 2012 it was blamed for a rise in HIV infections in Hong Kong and syphilis infections in New Zealand.
Grindr reportedly crashed during the 2012 London Olympic Games, apparently due to the massive rise in use when thousands of athletes and support staff arrived in the British capital, the city with the most active Grindr users.
While homosexuality is not criminalised in Turkey it remains a social taboo and LGBT groups and individuals experience harassment and discrimination.
A poll released earlier this year found that 78% of people in Turkey believe that homosexuality should not be accepted by society.