Facebook blocks access to pages ‘insulting the Prophet Muhammad’ after Turkish court's ruling
The court also ruled that access to Facebook will be entirely blocked if the rulings for related pages are not implemented. AFP PhotoFacebook has blocked access to a number of pages in Turkey for “insulting the Prophet Muhammad,” following a ruling from an Ankara court. The move comes against the risk of the site being completely blocked in Turkey by the authorities.
The Gölbaşı Office of Penal Court of Peace ruled to block access to the pages late on Jan. 25, within the framework of a probe being conducted by prosecutor Harun Ceylan, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The court also ruled that access to Facebook would be entirely blocked if the rulings for related pages are not implemented.
The court conveyed its ruling to both the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) and the Association of Access Providers, an organization tasked with executing blocking orders as directed by TİB.
In mid-January, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet printed a selection of cartoons and articles in a show of solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, after the satirical French magazine was attacked by terrorists and 12 of its staff were killed.
The four-page pullout did not feature the satirical weekly’s controversial cover depicting the Prophet Muhammad, but the Chief Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul has launched an investigation into two columnists who featured Charlie Hebdo’s cover with the image of the Prophet Muhammad in their pieces. Prosecutors are investigating whether Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Çetinkaya, both writing for Cumhuriyet, violated laws against “inciting hatred and enmity” and “insulting religious values.”
The prosecutors’ move on Jan. 15 came hours after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said his government would not permit “insults to our prophet.”
Cumhuriyet’s move to print a selection of Charlie Hebdo caricatures has “nothing to do with freedom of expression,” Davutoğlu said Jan. 15, adding that the move was “a provocation.”
Over the weekend, during a visit to Southeastern Anatolian province of Diyarbakır, Davutoğlu greeted around 100,000 people who protested Charlie Hebdo in central Diyarbakır.
“The region reacts whenever a shameless act happens toward the Prophet Muhammad. I greet each and every brother who defends the Prophet Muhammad here,” Davutoğlu said during his speech at the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) provincial congress in the city.