Turkish PM slams paper for Charlie Hebdo cover

Davutoglu describes domestic publication of Prophet Muhammad cartoon as 'sedition.'

Turkish PM slams paper for Charlie Hebdo cover

World Bulletin/News Desk

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has lashed out at a Turkish paper for publishing the first post-attack Charlie Hebdo issue which contains a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.

"There is open sedition if you publish those insulting caricatures considering the massive sensitivity in Turkey about Prophet Muhammad," he told a press conference on Thursday at Ankara's Esenboga Airport before his departure for Brussels.

His remarks came a day after the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet published a four-page selection of cartoons and articles from the latest 16-page edition of the French satirical magazine, "with the aim of criticizing the attack on a media corporation and showing solidarity," as the daily put it.

A depiction of the Prophet Muhammad, dressed in white, can be seen on two pages of the newspaper shedding a tear and holding a “Je suis Charlie (I am Charlie)” sign, below the headline "All is forgiven."

Davutoglu claimed that freedom of the press does not mean the freedom to insult, especially if it is towards a prophet.

"It cannot be called freedom of press if it is an insult against a prophet or religious leader that is believed in by around 1.5 billion people around the world," he said.

Apart from Cumhuriyet, three Turkish satirical magazines also published a special front cover to show their solidarity with Charlie Hebdo.

The covers of Leman, Uykusuz and Penguen all boast a "Je suis Charlie" comic bubble, on a black background, a tribute to fallen colleagues in France who died on January 7 in a brutal gun attack in their Parisian offices.

The domestic publishing of Charlie Hebdo sparked small-scale protests in Turkey on Wednesday.

A group of protesters gathered outside the premises of the daily in Istanbul on Wednesday evening, chanting slogans such as "Cumhuriyet will answer," and "This is Turkey, not France."

Similar protests also broke out in other cities throughout the day including the capital Ankara, Edirne, Sakarya and Konya. The protests in the four provinces were organized by a fringe right-wing action group called the National Turkish Student Union.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Ocak 2015, 11:44