“Steve Wozniak, one of the main speakers of the Word Cities Expo Istanbul 2017 organized by Istanbul Municipality between May 15 and May 18, has incomprehensibly canceled his attendance even though [it is the last minute]. We will continue to share developments regarding the issue,” the expo said.
Wozniak was scheduled to deliver his speech on the second day of the Expo on May 16.
On May 13, the Apple co-founder said on his Twitter that he was returning to the U.S.
“Flying home instead of to an [incompletely] contracted appearance in Istanbul. US travel restrictions unsuitable,” Wozniak tweeted at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Flying home instead of to an [incompletely] contracted appearance in Istanbul. US travel restrictions unsuitable. https://t.co/aPWydquflz
— Steve Wozniak (@stevewoz) May 13, 2017
The cancellation marked the second such absence of two prominent keynote figures that would be the brand faces of the expo.
The municipality previously withdrew an invitation to Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales to the Expo following a Turkish decision to ban access to the website in the country.
The Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) stated on April 29 that it had blocked access to Wikipedia, citing a law allowing it to ban access to websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security. “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,” read a statement from the municipality’s press agency.
Wales earlier told daily Hürriyet that he had decided to not to cancel his visit to Turkey despite the ban.
“I am looking forward to the visit. Istanbul is one of my favorite cities,” he said.