Rapidly Islamizing Turkey is clearly moving toward reimposing Sharia blasphemy laws. But the Turks are still “moderate”: Hikmet Cetinkaya and Ceyda Karan could have been sentenced to death. And in prison, they will be in serious danger.
Meanwhile, anyone in the West who starts to feel self-righteous about Turkey and freedom of speech should remember the chorus of condemnation we received from the mainstream media (and others) last year after jihadis attacked our Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest. People aren’t jailed yet in the U.S. for Muhammad cartoons, but there are plenty of people here who would like to see that happen. It’s coming.
“Turkey columnists get two years in jail over Charlie Hebdo cartoon,” AFP, April 28, 2016:
An Istanbul court on Thursday sentenced two prominent Turkish journalists to two years behind bars for illustrating their columns with a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed originally published by French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
“The Prophet Mohammed.” AFP, like all of the mainstream media, assumes that Muhammad is everyone’s prophet, and that we are all Muslims now.
The sentence handed to columnists Hikmet Cetinkaya and Ceyda Karan, both columnists with the opposition Cumhuriyet daily, intensified alarm over press freedoms in Turkey under strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has made Islam the cornerstone of his politics.
“The two journalists were sentenced to two years each in jail,” said their lawyer Bulent Utku. “We will appeal the ruling at the appeals court,” Utku told AFP following a hearing at Istanbul’s criminal court.
The pair, who went on trial in January last year, were acquitted of “insulting religious values” but convicted on charges of “inciting public hatred”.
They were sentenced to three years in jail, which was reduced to two by the court on technical grounds.
‘Erdogan’s family among plaintiffs’
The state-run Anatolia news agency said the case was brought by a total of 1,280 plaintiffs including Erdogan’s daughters Esra and Sumeyye, his son Bilal and his son-in-law, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak.
The Erdogan family was represented by a lawyer in court, it added.
After the verdict, members of the public who had brought the complaint and were present in court shouted “Allahu Akbar”, Cumhuriyet reported — Arabic for ‘God is greatest’….