Can Dündar becomes editor-in-chief of daily Cumhuriyet
ISTANBULCumhuriyet said in a statement on Feb. 9 that Can Dündar has now become its new editor-in-chief, with Tahir Özyurtseven as his deputy.
On Jan. 15, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu strongly criticized Cumhuriyet for reprinting a Charlie Hebdo cartoon featuring the Prophet Muhammad, saying freedom of expression “does not grant anybody the right to insult another’s beliefs.”
Cumhuriyet’s move to print a selection of Charlie Hebdo caricatures has “nothing to do with freedom of expression,” he added.
Davutoğlu’s statements came a week after the police stopped trucks leaving Cumhuriyet’s newspaper printing center and checked the paper’s content after it decided to print a selection of Charlie Hebdo caricatures. The paper had printed a four-page selection of cartoons and articles in a show of solidarity with Charlie Hebdo.
Cumhuriyet stated that the police allowed distribution to proceed after checking that the satirical French newspaper’s latest cover featuring the Prophet had not been published in that edition. However, two Cumhuriyet columnists had used images of the cover as their column headers in the Jan. 14 edition. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the columnists’ use of the cover image escaped the attention of the police.
“While preparing this selection, we respected society’s freedom of faith and religious sensitivities,” Çakırözer had said at the time in a statement.
“There may have been some [people] who were worried that this would be an issue that would belittle religious beliefs ... But I believe that people won’t think that way when they see today’s issue,” Çakırözer later told the Associated Press.