The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality withdrew an event invitation for the co-founder of the world’s largest online encyclopedia Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, after Turkey’s telecommunications watchdog issued an access ban on the website.

The municipality had earlier sent an invitation to Wales for the World Cities Expo Istanbul that will be held between May 15 and May 18 at the city’s Haliç Congress Center with the participation of institutions and countries pioneering smart cities in the world.

«It is respectfully announced to the public that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has been removed from the invitee list for the ‘World Cities Expo’ event and the decision has been conveyed to him,» the Hurriyet daily cited the statement as saying.

The Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) said on April 29 that it blocked access to Wikipedia, citing a law allowing it to ban access to websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security.