Southeast regions of Turkey were cut off from the Internet by the government after protests against the detention of Diyarbakir mayor and co-mayor Gültan Kışanak and Fırat Anlıon on terrorism charges.

Connectivity issues began at 10:30AM affecting cities including Diyarbakır, Mardin, Batman, Siirt, Van, Elazığ, Tunceli, Gaziantep, Şanlıfurfa, Kilis and Adıyıman.

Banks and point-of-sales terminals were put out of action by the blackout.

Turkey often suppresses media coverage of political incidents, a form of censorship purportedly to prevent civil unrest. Full blackouts are a rare, but severe form of shutdown that affect a wide range of digital communication services.

Today’s shutdown is similar to another incident in the same region earlier this year following the state takeover of several mainly Kurdish regions of the country.