Turkish President Erdoğan lashes out at 'provocative' Charlie Hebdo
ANKARA – Agence France-Presse
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lashed out at Charlie Hebdo for its "provocative" publications about Islam on Jan. 16, saying the French satirical weekly "incited hatred and racism."
"This magazine [is] notorious for its provocative publications about Muslims, about Christians, about everyone," Erdoğan told a meeting of businessmen in Ankara.
"This is not called freedom. This equates to wreaking terror by intervening in the freedom space of others. We should be aware of this. There is no limitless freedom," he added.
In its first issue since the attacks by Islamist gunmen last week on its headquarters that killed 12 people, the magazine featured an image of the Muslim prophet weeping on its front cover.
The cover sparked fresh controversy and protests in some parts of the Muslim world, where many find any depiction of the prophet, let alone satirical ones, highly offensive.
Erdoğan said Muslims expected respect for their Prophet Muhammad, in the same way as they valued the prophets of Judaism and Christianity.
"They may be atheists. But if they are, they will respect what is sacred to me," said Erdogan.
"If they do not, it means provocation, which is punishable by laws. What they do is incite hatred and racism," he added.