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The Istanbul Second Criminal Court has sentenced two journalists from Turkey's opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet to two years in prison for reproducing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad first published by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the newspaper reported Thursday.
ANKARA (Sputnik) — In January 2015, Cumhuriyet carried four pages of images taken from the special issue of Charlie Hebdo that appeared after the terrorist attack on the magazine but decided not to publish the cover page, which contained cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. However, Hikmet Cetinkaya and Ceyda Karan put small images of the cartoons in their articles.
An investigation of the case was initiated after 1,280 individuals filed complaints. The Prosecutor's Office in Istanbul asked for a sentence between 1.5 and 4.5 years in jail for both journalists for "insulting religious values" and "inciting people to hatred and enmity." The court found Cetinkaya and Karan guilty and sentenced both of them to two years behind bars.
On January 7, 2015, the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, known for publishing controversial caricatures of religious figures, was attacked by Islamist gunmen who killed 12 people and wounded 11, after the magazine published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
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