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RIGHTS >Turkish court blocks access to websites publishing Charlie Hebdo’s cover featuring Prophet

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A woman lays a candle next to placards reading 'I am Charlie' and 'we are not afraid,' as people observe a minute's silence in Istanbul on Jan. 8 for the victims of an attack by armed gunmen on the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The attack in Paris on Jan. 7 left 12 dead and many others injured. AFP Photo / Ozan Köse

A woman lays a candle next to placards reading 'I am Charlie' and 'we are not afraid,' as people observe a minute's silence in Istanbul on Jan. 8 for the victims of an attack by armed gunmen on the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The attack in Paris on Jan. 7 left 12 dead and many others injured. AFP Photo / Ozan Köse

A local Turkish court has ordered to block access to pages on websites publishing the Jan. 14 cover of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, featuring the Prophet Muhammad.

The issue is the first since a deadly attack on the magazine’s Paris office claimed the lives of 12 people, including prominent cartoonists.

The ruling was announced by a local court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır following a complaint.

The move comes after Turkish daily Cumhuriyet agreed to publish a four-page selection of Charlie Hebdo’s new issue in Turkish. The decision stirred controversy, with a number of prominent government officials unprecedentedly slamming the publication of the Charlie Hebdo images as a “provocation.”

“Those who disregard the sacred values of Muslims by publishing forms allegedly referring to our Prophet are clearly committing a provocation,” Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan said via Twitter Jan. 14.

“The fact that those who irresponsibly target the values of society publically express it via media or through art doesn’t change its aggressive nature,” Akdoğan said.

The move comes days after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu joined other foreign dignitaries during a march in Paris for freedom of expression and against intolerance, with the slogan “Je suis Charlie,” in tribute to the victims of the Paris attack.

January/14/2015

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