Turkish columnists indicted over Prophet Muhammad caricatures
Istanbul prosecutor's office on Wednesday prepared an indictment against two columnists from the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet for "insulting religious values" and "instigating people to hatred and enmity", Anadolu agency reported.
The office demanded 1.5 years to 4.5 in jail for Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya for publishing an insulting cartoon depicting Prophet Muhammad, which was first released by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The 38-page indictment, in which Karan and Cetinkaya are suspects and 1,280 people are plaintiffs, was presented to the Penal Court of First Instance in Istanbul.
Charlie Hebdo released its first issue a week after the Jan. 7 deadly attack on its offices with a new derogatory cartoon depicting Prophet Muhammad on the cover, which was also published by newspapers across the world, including Cumhuriyet.
"It is not possible to imagine the consequences of the publication of the same cartoons in Turkey, where most people are Muslims, following such an incident in France," the indictment read.
Apart from Cumhuriyet, three Turkish satirical magazines also published a special front cover, with Leman, Uykusuz and Penguen all boasting a "Je suis Charlie" comic bubble on a black background.