Turkish PM should have thanked Turkish daily for Charlie Hebdo reprinting
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
AA PhotoPeoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahatin Demirtaş said on Jan. 16 that Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu should have thanked Turkish daily Cumhuriyet for its decision to reprint a selection of the latest issue of the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo.
“The prime minister and government officials are conducting a provocation activity. The prime minister attended a rally in Paris in an attempt to protest the Charlie Hebdo attack and he claims to show solidarity with the magazine. But after returning to Turkey he is holding a stance which targets daily Cumhuriyet over its solidarity with that magazine. This is very controversial,” said Demirtaş speaking to reporters on Jan. 16 in Istanbul during a meeting with the Alevi Foundations Federation.
“The prime minister can call Cumhuriyet and thank them, because there is no insulting the Prophet Muhammad. There is solidarity [with Charlie Hebdo] against the Paris terror attack, but the prime minister says ‘they are openly attacking us’ and giving messages to some groups. This is embarrassing for the government,” Demirtaş said.
Davutoğlu has strongly criticized daily Cumhuriyet for reprinting the 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,” Davutoğlu said on Jan. 15.
“Freedom of the press does not mean freedom to insult. In particular, if it is an insult against a Prophet who has been a ‘mercy to the worlds,’ and who has a much greater meaning than our personalities and characters; this is not freedom of the press,” Davutoğlu said, citing a verse from the Quran.
“It is obvious that people who can even take an insult against them with tolerance and patience cannot take it to the same extent when there is an insult against the Prophet. If some are printing a caricature that features an insult to the Prophet, when this is the situation, when there is such sensitivity in Turkey, then there is a provocation here,” he added.