The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into the Cumhuriyet daily for reprinting a selection of cartoons from the latest issue of Charlie Hebdo. Columnists Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Çetinkaya, alongside the newspaper’s executives will be questioned by the prosecutors and may be charged with “provoking the people to hatred and animosity.” The daily has run selections from the magazine in its yesterday edition but not the cover featuring Mohammad. The two columnists have featured the mentioned cartoon as a visual within their columns.
The two columnists receive a lot of death threats on internet; reports say.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Davutoğlu was furious against Cumhuriyet: “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, using a verse from the Quran when using the description “mercy to the worlds.” He also said: “In this country, we don’t allow insults to the Prophet. This is a very clear, sharp and principled stance. Everybody should know this. This matter has also been explained to the press institutions.”