Turkish Court Bans Charlie Hebdo Cover With Mohammad Cartoon After Erdogan Returns From Free Speech March

220px-Recep_Tayyip_Erdogan707192-une-charlie-png.jpgRemember Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s outrage over the appearance of Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu at the Paris march for free speech? It seems a rather bizarre scene for a man who had led to one of the greatest rollbacks on free speech and press freedom in Turkey’s history as part of his insertion of Islamic fundamentalism into the once secular state. The irony only grew today after a Turkish court banned websites from show this cover of Charlie Hebdo’s magazine following the massacre of its editors and staff by Muslim extremists.

The order was issued out of the southeastern city of Diyarbakir after a lawyer reportedly filed a petition saying the four sites were a danger to “public order.” It is particularly distressing to see Muslim lawyers joining the mob in denying basic freedoms in the name of their faith.

The primary target was a secular newspaper that was going to print four pages of cartoons in solidarity with their French counterparts. It was a brave act to do in a Muslim country but this lawyer and the court soon intervened to show that intolerance and religious orthodoxy controls in the new Turkey.

Notably, one target did not have the cartoons but did include small, black-and-white images of the cover as their column headers in Wednesday’s issue. The police in their review of the Cumhuriyet magazine appear to have missed those inclusions in allowing the trucks of that publication to roll out of the facility.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the columnists’ use of the cover image escaped the attention of police.

In the meantime, Ergogan’s government took little time in denouncing free speech as he returned from marching in support of it: Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan called the use of the prophet’s image on the magazine an act of “sedition and provocation.”

Source: Yahoo

31 thoughts on “Turkish Court Bans Charlie Hebdo Cover With Mohammad Cartoon After Erdogan Returns From Free Speech March”

  1. David, children have to be taught the concepts of modesty, guilt, shame, and other moralistic ideas. They aren’t born with it naturally, and wouldn’t grow up thinking that not wearing clothes is bad if they weren’t indoctrinated to that belief by their misguided society. Wearing clothes can serve a purpose, such as protection (coats, helmets), identification (sports jerseys), decoration (jewelry), and other preferential reasons, and as long as wearing these clothes is optional, it seems perfectly reasonable. It’s the requirement of wearing clothes, the prohibition of not wearing clothes, that I believe is wrong. Humans don’t develop toward modesty (the idea one has to always wear clothes in public) without their society demanding it. One only has to examine the differences in how women are allowed to appear in public in the USA and in middle eastern countries to realize it is a cultural thing, not a natural predisposition. You might conclude that humans have a “natural” need (though neurotic) to control other people in their desire to make them act and believe like themselves, thereby confirming the “correctness” of their own actions and beliefs. But without these factors, which I say are unjustifiable, you’re right, there would be no need for irrational “modesty” laws.

    1. Tyger Gilbert wrote: “… children have to be taught the concepts of modesty, guilt, shame, and other moralistic ideas.”

      I acknowledge that children are not born with these concepts anymore than animals are born with these concepts. However, whether they develop these concepts because they are taught or simply because they develop awareness is difficult to discern. It truly is a nature versus nurture conundrum. It may very well be that as children grow into adulthood, they develop concepts of modesty, guilt, shame, etc. the same way they develop the ability to think rationally. In other words, without the teaching, they may very well develop these concepts all on their own.

      Tyger Gilbert wrote: “Humans don’t develop toward modesty (the idea one has to always wear clothes in public) without their society demanding it. One only has to examine the differences in how women are allowed to appear in public in the USA and in middle eastern countries to realize it is a cultural thing, not a natural predisposition.”

      I’m not so sure that modesty is not developed naturally. Certainly there is a huge cultural influence concerning how people clothe themselves, but the concept of covering one’s nakedness seems to have an innate component. Even uncivilized tribes in Africa and South America seem to find a need to wear a loin cloth when it seems silly to bother with it. They clearly don’t require clothing for any reason other than modesty. I do note that people I have talked with who work with these tribes where the women are always topless say that the culture is very lust filled, with neighbors lusting after each other’s spouses and the sexual impulses are not at all under control.

      It does seem that a characterization of a civilized society is acknowledging the need for modesty and dressing accordingly. This is not to say that I support laws mandating what kind of clothing a person must wear. It just seems to me that there is more to it than neurotic people in government wanting to control others in telling them how they must dress.

      I’m curious when you developed this loathing for having to clothe yourself because of your fear of reprisal from the local laws. Have you felt this way since childhood or only developed it more recently?

      1. David, whether a child develops the ability to think rationally BECAUSE of the teachings of his or her society, or IN SPITE OF it, as I had to, is a valid question, but the answer is one of conjecture, either way, and will depend upon the perspective of the individual who would attempt a guess at it.

        Your suggestion that I “loathe” having to clothe myself because I fear “reprisal from the local laws” would make you a gold medalist if jumping to unwarranted conclusions were an Olympic event. My personal attitudes toward clothing are irrelevant, in any case. I brought up the issue only as an example of how people everywhere, no matter in what country and how much they profess to love freedom, wish to suppress and control others who do not conform to their beliefs, and will pass laws enforcing their desired behavior even when it is illogical or pertains to something very trivial. How badly women are treated in various countries because of customs and religion is a more important example and probably illustrates the point in ways more Americans might concur with.

        I understand my fat old body is not a pretty sight by itself, and I recognize that many people find nudity offensive. There are lots of things I find offensive, too, but I don’t advocate passing laws to prohibit those things, particularly when those things are merely a matter of preference or opinion and are not harmful to others in any way. Using government to suppress freedoms is what I object to.

  2. davidm2575

    I am very intimate with Turkey and realize there are many aspects of the country that jumped a few centuries where the other Islamic countries are still in the middle ages in spite of the architecture and money. Turkey is, however, primarily an Islamic state that had a European top end imposed on it in the early 20th Century. Turkey did not evolve but was fast tracked to where a large portion of its population is today. It is still to be seen whether the Europeanized or liberated Turks will stand against the Islamic leaning fear of Erdogan. The strength of the secular end is found in the military and intelligensia. There are still Pashas who when the say have some wine from my village, they mean, their village. This ‘ruling class’ is the easiest to overthrow.

    Erdogan is not dealing with an Islamic minority. Iran was once ‘Westernized’. Western backed oppression forced it to move to the other extreme, Islamic oppression. Ultimately, those that enjoy Western lifestyles and facilities will perform for Islamic hardliners rather than leave or fight. The Islamic leaders of Iran and the other religious states know enough to allow this upper class the fruits of their labors. It is, in some ways a symbiotic relationship, but does not stand with the West in the 21st Century.

  3. I really suppose Holder wouldn’t be a good representative for free speech anyway……he was there for a counterterrorism meeting I understand.

  4. Laws that prevent someone from doing something that offends others are alive and prospering in the USA, too. I can’t just walk out of my house and put a bag of trash in the dumpster on the curb of the street. I have to put some clothes on first, or risk getting arrested for public nudity or obscenity or whatever. I argue that I would not be doing anything sexual or being a threat to neighborhood women and children. Just taking the trash out. The response is that some people would find this offensive and they have a right not to be offended by my display of public nudity. I have to keep my curtains closed for the same reason. Since this would not be a religious ritual I’m performing, no one seems to find anything wrong with this type of oppression, but it’s no different. Society programs the minds of its members to accept limitations on freedoms if it fits their particular prejudice of what’s right and wrong.

    1. Tyger wrote: “I have to put some clothes on first, or risk getting arrested for public nudity or obscenity or whatever.”

      The innate sense to wear clothes is one of those things that makes no rational sense to the modern scientific mind. Some religions have addressed this issue, but many do not believe it. Many no longer even have understanding of the concepts of conscience and shame. One does have to contemplate this subject considering that very young children generally display no sense of modesty at all. Therefore, is the modesty that we develop a good thing or a bad thing? Are modesty laws even necessary considering that humans generally develop toward modesty rather than immodesty without the law?

  5. davidm2575

    From our couches in the West, your words make a lot of sense. If you believe in them so fervently, then go to Iran or Saudi Arabia and put a few copies of Charlie Hebdo in your suitcase. Wear a t-shirt sporting ‘Je suis Charle.’. Speak your mind. That is no different than yelling fire in a crowded theatre except the only one getting trampled will be you. Paris is the place and the 21st Century is the time for Charlie Hebdo and its exposition of how ludicrous religion can be. Turkey is not the place and is not in the 21st Century. Big difference.

    1. isaac wrote: “Turkey is not the place and is not in the 21st Century.”

      I’ve been to Turkey. It most certainly is in the 21st century. I’m not sure what you are trying to say.

      If you are trying to say they do not embrace freedom of speech, you are correct. But that is not because they are not in the 21st century, but rather it is because of the teachings of Islam.

  6. Freedom of speech requires the protection of speech that offends! Long live Charlie. I guess the Turkish President and the Pope have found common ground.

  7. Free speech is under assault by murderous jihadists, politicians, and academics. Like JT, I fear there has become a new and dangerous right, the right to not be offended. Pretty soon there will be no stand up comedians. Ever go to a stand up act. No PC there.

  8. I am glad that Obama did not go there to Paris and hold hands with this perp. Those that criticize Obama for not going should rethink their positions. President Obama was busy that day anyway– planning for a ground invasion of the turban head pirate territories.

  9. If Erdogan had not of reigned in the proponents of free speech and a few dozen Turkish journalists and other liberals had been slaughtered, then? It seems that the environment can sometimes dictate the level of freedom. Printing Charlie Hebdo stuff in Turkey or any other country with a predominantly Islamic population is no different than yelling Fire in a crowded theatre. This is no Boston Tea Party. Even guys like Erdogan make the right decisions sometimes.

    Somethings are just common sense. Common sense is perhaps the greatest champion of human rights.

    1. issac wrote: “Printing Charlie Hebdo stuff in Turkey or any other country with a predominantly Islamic population is no different than yelling Fire in a crowded theatre.”

      One may indeed yell fire in a crowded theater if there really is a fire. In fact, one has a duty to do it. This overused analogy that you reference deals with someone lying just to watch people scramble, and their act actually causes harm to others. Keep in mind also that nobody is ever arrested for yelling fire in a crowded theater until their actions actually cause harm. Then they are held responsible for the harm caused by their false speech. Also note that if there really was a fire, they are not held responsible for injuries caused by people trying to escape the theater.

      When governments are allowed to use force to prevent speech critical of government, religions, prophets, or disagreeable philosophies, then society as a whole suffers. The emphasis in society needs to be placed upon the duty of citizens not to react violently to objectionable language, but to counter objectionable words with wholesome words. In this particular situation, the government has overstepped its proper authority. It has become tyrannical by preventing individuals from expressing their thoughts.

  10. So showing up for the rally is a sign of showing up for the rally, indicating respect for neither free speech or the championing of it, or for going after/helping other countries catch them, and nothing more.

  11. Bailers, don’t trust others to interpret the Quran for you.

    Surah 3:56
    “As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”

    Surah 3:151
    “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority.”

    Surah 4:95
    “Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward”

    Surah 5:33
    “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”

    Surah 8:12
    “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”

    It seems pretty clear what passages of the Quran influence these terrorists.

  12. Thanks for that link, Darren. It was interesting to read Prime Minister Ahmet’s perspective. He wrote, “freedom of the press does not entitle anyone to insult the beliefs of others.” Well, yes it does.

    The problem Islam has is that insulting Muhammad is a very serious offense. While the Republic of Turkey is not an Islamic Republic, it is moving that direction. The government actively builds thousands of mosques.

    Ahmet said, “Turkey will not let anyone insult the Prophet Muhammad.” So there you have it. This is a governmental limitation on speech.

    Isn’t it interesting how people want to claim they believe in freedom of speech and freedom of the press when they really don’t.

    I remember watching a preacher get arrested on a public sidewalk in Tampa once, and the crowd cheered, some saying, “I believe in free speech, but he needs to take his message somewhere else.” Well, no, they don’t believe in free speech.

    In Turkey, they have amended their Constitution to eliminate freedom of speech. It started out right in Consider Article 26 and look at the changes in 2001:

    ARTICLE 26- Everyone has the right to express and
    disseminate his/her thoughts and opinions by speech, in writing or
    in pictures or through other media, individually or collectively. This
    freedom includes the liberty of receiving or imparting information or
    ideas without interference by official authorities. This provision shall
    not preclude subjecting transmission by radio, television, cinema, or
    similar means to a system of licensing.
    (As amended on October 3, 2001; Act No. 4709) The exercise of
    these freedoms may be restricted for the purposes of national security,
    public order, public safety, safeguarding the basic characteristics of
    the Republic and the indivisible integrity of the State with its territory
    and nation, preventing crime, punishing offenders, withholding
    information duly classified as a state secret, protecting the reputation
    or rights and private and family life of others, or protecting
    professional secrets as prescribed by law, or ensuring the proper
    functioning of the judiciary.
    (Repealed on October 3, 2001; Act No. 4709)
    Regulatory provisions concerning the use of means to
    disseminate information and thoughts shall not be deemed as the
    restriction of freedom of expression and dissemination of thoughts as
    long as the transmission of information and thoughts is not prevented.13
    (Paragraph added on October 3, 2001; Act No. 4709) The
    formalities, conditions and procedures to be applied in exercising
    the freedom of expression and dissemination of thought shall be
    prescribed by law.

  13. The good thing about this tragedy is that it has stimulated thinking about the issues of free speech, insulting people, racism, religious dogma, and corresponding legal restrictions. Sometimes it takes a crisis to make people reconsider their preconceived ideas. Zionism seem to have successfully constrained the world from using language supporting non-Jews living in Palestine. That destructive constraint on free speech needs to be seriously reconsidered.

  14. There has been the typical responses in newspapers about how this isn’t all muslims, there’s nothing in the scripture about depictions of their prophet, or any of the other nonsense that’s used as excuses for mass murder. Fine, I accept it.

    Let me know when that part of Islam gets in power and starts making the rules instead of the radical wing that’s running the show now.

  15. Turkey has to much spare time on its hands. Reading news paper comic strips. And criticizing free speech.

    Meantime Turkish Army watches siege of Kobani from a safe distance while female Kurdish fight ISIS and call in US B-1B air strikes.
    I wonder when Turkey will stop hiding behind the skirt of woman and join the fight on ISIS instead of reading comic books.

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