Erdogan Lashes Out at Charlie Hebdo Magazine

News ID: 622961 Service: Other Media
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TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, for its "provocative" publications about Islam, saying the weekly paper incites hatred and racism.

"This magazine (is) notorious for its provocative publications about Muslims, about Christians, about everyone," Erdogan told a meeting of businessmen in Ankara on Friday.

"This is not called freedom. This equates to wreaking terror by intervening in the freedom space of others. We should be aware of this. There is no limitless freedom," he said.

In its first issue since the attacks by gunmen last week on its headquarters that killed 12 people, the magazine featured an image of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) weeping on its front cover.

The cover sparked fresh controversy and protests in some parts of the Muslim world, where many find any depiction of the prophet, let alone satirical ones, highly offensive.

Erdogan said Muslims expected respect for their prophet the same way as they valued the prophets of Judaism and Christianity, Al Jazeera reported.

"They may be atheists. If they are, they will respect what is sacred to me," said Erdogan.

"If they do not, it means it is a provocation, which is punishable by laws. What they do is incite hatred, racism," he added.

A total of 17 people, including journalists and police officers, died in the assault on Charlie Hebdo's office in Paris last week and in a bloody hostage-taking at a kosher supermarket two days later.

In solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet published a four-page pull-out, translated in Turkish, including some Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

Although Cumhuriyet chose not to publish the cover in its news pages, two writers put the cartoon in their columns.

A small version of that cartoon however was included twice inside the newspaper to illustrate columns on the subject, prompting prosecutors to open an investigation into two commentators writing for Cumhuriyet.

Erdogan said the publication of the cartoons in predominantly Muslim Turkey was against law.

"Which country do you live in?" asked Erdogan in a thinly-veiled jab at the Turkish daily. "What you did goes against law ... You are inviting provocation."

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