“I am concerned by the fact that journalists can face imprisonment in Turkey for expressing their views and solidarity with the killed Charlie Hebdo cartoonists. Publishing materials that may offend a part of the society does not justify censorship, let alone imprisonment,” Mijatovic said.
The media freedom representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) made her statement after an Istanbul court had sentenced two columnists of the Turkish opposition Cumhuriyet daily Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya to two years of imprisonment for inciting public hatred and insulting religious values.
On January 14, 2015, Cumhuriyet was the only Turkish newspaper that published a four-page extract from the first Charlie Hebdo issue after deadly attacks on the magazine. The edition included two smaller versions of the controversial cartoon on Prophet Mohammed which was condemned by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as an “open provocation”.