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Turkey blocks websites carrying Charlie Hebdo cover, paper prints excerpts from French paper

A man reads Cumhuriyet, which headlined "They've killed ideas" after the Charlie Hebdo attack
A man reads Cumhuriyet, which headlined "They've killed ideas" after the Charlie Hebdo attack AFP/Bulent Kilic

A Turkish opposition paper has published four pages of this week’s Charlie Hebdo in solidarity with the journalists killed in an attack in Paris last Wednesday. But a Turkish court has ordered the blocking of websites featuring the front page, which features a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed.

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Cumhuriyet translated four pages of this week’s Charlie Hebdo in Wednesday’s edition.

Overnight police raided the paper to check its contents but, after consulting a public prosecutor, allowed it to print.

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“We published this supplement out of solidarity with Charlie and to defend freedom of expression,” editor Utku Cakirozer told the AFP news agency.

But he added that they had not reproduced a full-size version of the front page so as to “respect Turkish society’s religious feelings”.

The pro-secular newspaper, which was founded in 1924 by an ally of the founder of modern Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, has been subjected to physical and legal attacks and several of its journalists have been jailed in recent years.

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A small group of students demonstrated against the publication outside its Ankara headquarters, according to the official Anatolya press agency.

A court in Ankara on Wednesday decided to block access to “relevant sections” of websites that carry the front page.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, a member of the Islamist AKP party, attended Sunday’s march in solidarity with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attacks and in support of press freedom.
 

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