Turkish journalists Sentenced to 2 Years In Prison Over Charlie Hebdo Cartoon

Stacy Adams

cccccHikmet Cetinkaya and Ceyda Karan, columnists of the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper, were convicted of “openly encouraging hate end enmity among people via the press. The two were acquitted of “insulting religious values.”

The case was brought by a total of 1,280 people who filed the criminal complaint. Among them is Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his daughters Esra and Sumeyye, his son Bilal and his son-in-law Berat Albayrak, who’s also energy minister.

After the verdict, members of the public shouted “Allahu Akbar,” France 24 reports.

Following the deadly attack that left 12 people dead at Charlie Hebdo headquarters in Paris in January 2015, Cumhuriyet published a four-page pullout from the weekly translated into Turkish.

The edition did not include the controversial front cover with Prophet Muhammad, but a smaller version of the cartoon was used to illustrate columns of Cetinkaya and Karan.

Cumhuriyet, which is opposed to the moderate-Islamist government of Erdogan, was harshly criticised after the publication of cartoons, with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu calling it a “open provocation.”

The paper’s editor-in-chief Can Dundar is on trial on charges of revealing state secrets and could face multiple life sentences.

After the ruling, Karan tweeted: “Thanks for your support messages. Let our two-year sentence be a gift for our Islamist fascists #JeSuisCharlie”


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