Turkish Airlines refuses to distribute daily that reprinted Charlie Hebdo cartoons
DHA PhotoTurkish Airlines (THY) did not distribute Turkish daily Cumhuriyet to its passengers Jan. 15, a day after the daily reprinted several cartoons from the latest edition of French satire weekly Charlie Hebdo.
The newspaper reprinted several cartoons from the latest edition of Charlie Hebdo, which was attacked by three gunmen who killed 12 people on Jan. 7.
THY sent a letter to the distribution company on Jan. 14 and said they would not buy Cumhuriyet on Jan. 15.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has strongly criticized Cumhuriyet for reprinting the Charlie Hebdo cartoons 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 Jan. 15.
On Jan. 14 police stopped trucks leaving Cumhuriyet’s printing center and checked the paper’s content after it decided to print a selection of Charlie Hebdo caricatures. The paper printed a four-page selection of cartoons and articles in a show of solidarity with Charlie Hebdo.
Cumhuriyet stated that the police allowed the distribution to proceed after thinking Charlie Hebdo’s latest cover featuring the Prophet Muhammad was not published. However, two Cumhuriyet columnists used small black-and-white images of the cover as their column headers in the Jan. 14 edition.
“While preparing this selection, we respected society’s freedom of faith and religious sensitivities,” Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Utku Çakırözer said in a statement.