A Turkish court on Wednesday decided to block access to Turkish internet pages displaying the new cover of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
In accordance with the court's decision, certain sections of four Turkish websites (birgun.net, t24.com , internethaber, and thelira.com) which are featuring the cover of Charlie Hebdo's latest edition, will be blocked.
The reason for the blockade was explained as the following by the Judge: "Freedom of speech does not give another the right to say whatever he wants to. Sometimes, freedom of speech can clash with others' personal rights."
Both personal rights and freedom of speech have been secured by the law, but in certain instances, one is "valued above" the other, according to the Judge Özcan Kuşatan.
Religious values and sayings which humiliate the Prophet can be considered as an "insult" to that religion and thereby members of that religion, Kuşatan said. And in such instances, it is justifiable that the preservation of religious values will be valued above freedom of speech, according to Kuşatan.
He said, "A person's religious belief is their integral part, honor, dignity, and respectability, therefore, is a value that should be protected within the framework of personal rights."
The Wednesday issue of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo features the Prophet Mohammad, with a tear in his eye, holding a "Je Suis Charlie" sign under the headline "All is forgiven."
The cover has fueled high tensions and sparked hot debates all around the world, with many critics discussing whether the prophet's display is freedom of speech or offensive to people's beliefs.
Many Muslims in Turkey have condemned another publication of the caricature of the Prophet Mohammed on Charlie Hebdo's new edition, considering it to represent Europe's discriminatory stand against Islam and Muslims.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan also criticized Charlie Hebdo's new edition on his twitter account. He said, "We condemn incitements, attacks, and provocations targeting Muslims and Islamic symbols in the same way as we have condemned the Paris attack."Some use art or press to externalize their ill-feeing or hatred towards others, and this does not change the fact that this is still another kind of "aggression", according to Akdoğan.
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