Turkey invokes law to protect the ‘prophet’

Turkey invokes law to protect the ‘prophet’

Following reports that Turkish prosecutors were investigating the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet for publishing a Charlie Hebdo cartoon of Mohammed comes news that Facebook has complied with a Turkish court order demanding the blocking of a page it said offended the ‘prophet’.

If the social media platform had refused, the court had threatened to block access to the entire site.

Facebook is believed to have around 40 million members in Turkey.

Facebook declined to comment but it does have a policy of blocking access to content within a country if it breaks local law.

Said cybersecurity expert Prof Alan Woodward from Surrey University:

These companies might be US-based but their users are global – they have to respect local traditions and customs.

This report claims that Turkey is one of Facebook’s more vexing territories, at least where censorship is concerned. The country represents a huge potential audience for US tech companies, with its growing population of young digital natives and its rapidly transforming economy.

But according to Facebook’s latest transparency report, which covered the first six months of 2014, Turkey asked Facebook to censor 1,893 pieces of content in that timespan — the second-most of any country.

Many of the requests sprang from local laws that prohibit criticism of Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, or the President or the Turkish state.

The Cumhuriyet investigation centres on of two journalist – Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya – who produced a four-page Charlie Hebdo pull-out translated into Turkish including cartoons satirising Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram and Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in Istanbul.

The edition did not include the controversial front cover of the Prophet Muhammad that has angered Muslims around the world, but a smaller version of the cartoon was included twice inside the newspaper, on pages 5 and 12, to illustrate columns on the subject by Cetinkaya and Karan.

The investigation came as Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu condemned the publication of cartoons of the Muslim prophet as an “open provocation”, warning that Turkey would not tolerate insults against Mohammed.

The investigation of the Cumhuriyet appears to have been sparked by a group of 60 demonstrators who staged a protest in front of the Caglayan courthouse in Istanbul and lodged a complaint against the newspaper. The zealots ominously chanted:

Ceyda and Hikmet will be brought to account.

16 responses to “Turkey invokes law to protect the ‘prophet’”

  1. Lonbo says:

    Well fuck Islam, Mohammed, Mustafah, the president of Turkey, the Turkish prime minister and the nation of Turkey! Je suis Charlie! Thank you.

  2. AgentCormac says:

    From being a fine example of how a country with a predominantly muslim population can successfully separate state and church, Turkey is fast losing the plot. And it would all seem to be down to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the secular republic, must be spinning in his grave.

  3. Broga says:

    They just don’t get it. The insistence that their transcendental prophet must be protected by boring and whining followers reduces him to a pathetic, unimportant mediocrity.

  4. phhht says:

    Don’t insult our Prophet
    Don’t insult my intelligence.

  5. Trevor Blake says:

    “These companies might be US-based but their users are global – they have to respect local traditions and customs.”

    That has certainly been the case for the past thousand years or so when Muslims enter non-Muslim areas. They respect local traditions and customs, and where Muslims retain their own ways they do so with no compulsion for others to submit.

    Did I get it right? I’d rather die than offend a Muslim. Please tell me I’ve sufficiently respected Islam. Religion of peace, tiny minority of extremists, nothing to do with Islam… I’ll say whatever it takes to not insult the prophet (pbuh).

    Nah, not really. I loathe the moral disease, the writhing pest hole, the dog sick that is Islam.

  6. Angela_K says:

    And don’t forget warmonger Tony Blair and others want Turkey to join the E.U. I once had high hopes for Turkey becoming a decent secular country with egalitarian values but it is sliding in to a theocracy and will end up an islamic controlled dump like the rest of the middle east.

  7. Cali Ron says:

    @Angela K:

    Agreed! From a promising future to a 3rd world country returning to the dark ages. “Turkey would not tolerate insults against Mohammed.” REALLY! what exactly are they going to do about the thousands of insults every day against Mohammed like “Mohammed was a sick pedophile” and “Mohammed is gay”. I’m shaking in my boots here. What utter rubbish! Pity the Turks!

  8. L.Long says:

    “Protect the prophet??? Insult the Prophet???”
    Just how can you insult a dead man or what is there to protect him from???
    Boy these people are stupid.
    OH!!! you mean his memory!!! Sorry but I don’t remember the guy!!

  9. Newspaniard says:

    Protect Gandalf! Oh, hang on, like big mo, Gandalf never existed in fact. Turkey in the EU, I don’t think so. Time the UK left.

  10. Ex Patriot says:

    Screw the pedophile prophet and the bs that goes with that damned islam . Turkey is gone down the tubes and is starting to go back to the dark ages.

  11. Angela_K says:

    OT. Another Art gallery [Paris] removes a work deemed blasphemous to ignorant, intolerant buffoons :

  12. barriejohn says:


    The French-Algerian artist, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, withdrew the work from an exhibition in a northern Paris suburb with a large Muslim population after an Islamic group told local authorities it could provoke “uncontrollable, irresponsible incidents”.

    It’s like a spoof news report from one of the Two Ronnies programmes!

    Cartoon in latest Private Eye (No. 1384):

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”: Voltaire

    “Je Suis Charlie”: Hot air

  13. Brian Jordan says:

    Well said, that Eye.
    On the main topic, as others have said, how can you insult a bag of bones mouldering somewhere in the sand these past 1400 years?
    On censorship, I thought there was great difficulty in getting web pages hosted in the USA taken down, because of their 1st amendment. Is it Islam or money talking here?

  14. Angela_K says:

    For those who do not subscribe to Private Eye, inside that issue are three pages of cartoons previously published by them; the muslims weren’t offended then so why now?

  15. Carlin Hicks says:

    The silver lining to Turkey’s descent into Islamism: the further it regresses, the further away from EU membership it drives itself. One of the nightmare scenarios is Turkey acceding to the Union and gaining the right to travel freely between the other member states. Lest we forget, Turkey borders Syria, Iraq and Iran; I leave it to you to imagine the militants, with whom the Turkish government either overtly or covertly sympathises, being able to so easily infiltrate the EU.