Turkish daily probed over publication of Charlie cartoons
Turkish police officers, defending the building from protesters, speak with security guards outside daily Cumhuriyet's office on Jan. 14 in Istanbul. AFP PhotoTurkish prosecutors launched an investigation into daily Cumhuriyet on Jan. 15, a day after the newspaper published a selection of four pages of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s first issue since last week’s attack that claimed 12 lives.
Although the newspaper opted not to publish the cover featuring the Prophet Muhammad among its selection, two of its columnists, Hikmet Çetinkaya and Ceyda Karan, penned articles in honor of the slayed magazine and chose to include the cover, which has once against stirred controversy among some Muslims.
Reports said the two columnists will be summoned by the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office for featuring their article with the magazine’s cover.
The prosecution was launched on charges of “inciting the people to hatred or humiliation,” according to the article 216 of the Turkish Penal Code.
Prosecutors also said over 100 complaints had been filed only to the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office regarding the cartoons.
The prosecution comes hours after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu joined other government officials in condemning the reprinting of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons as a “provocation.”
The newspaper had received a backslash following the decision to publish the cartoons, becoming the target of death threats and protests. Police raided its printing house ahead of the publication, allowing the distribution of the daily only after making sure that the magazine’s new cover wasn’t among the selected pieces.