Turkish mufti threatens opposition news site reminding Charlie Hebdo attack
A Turkish mufti threatened opposition news site OdaTV as reminding 2015's Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, news site Duvar reported late Sunday.
Ahmet Altıok, Mufti of the southeastern city of Siirt, said OdaTV insulted Mohammed the Prophet, the founder of the Islam. Mufti is an Islamic scholar who interprets and expounds Islamic law and qualified to give authoritative legal opinions known as fatwas.
"Charlie Hebdo teased (our prophet) through campaigns and perception operations, but they could not get away with it," Altıok said, adding that OdaTV has been doing the same thing.
OdaTV, founded in 2007, has been critical of the government from the beginning. In 2011, in the course of the Ergenekon investigations, OdaTV editors and workers were arrested. Several criminal complaints were filed against the news site.
"If anyone gets hurt in OdaTV, the responsibility belongs to the authorities who encourage it, watches it in silence and back it!" OdaTV news director Barış Terkoğlu said on Twitter.
"Are you going to remain silent against a paid official of the government calling for a massacre? Are you going to watch the massacre calls of gangs tasked by the mufti?" OdaTV chief editor Barış Pehlivan asked on Twitter. He said the gangs massacred people in the past, are called on duty with the 'Charlie Hebdo' citing.
In January 2015, a total of 17 people were killed in attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a kosher grocery store, and the Paris suburb of Montrouge. Two French jihadists who had links to al-Qaeda killed 11 people at Charlie Hebdo's offices over the magazine's satirical coverage of Islam and the prophet Mohammed.
The Charlie Hebdo attack citing statements of the mufti caused a public cry on social media. Several journalists, politicians and social media users slammed Altıok.
Reporters Without Borders director to Turkey, Erdol Önderoğlu, condemned the statements which "back Charlie Hebdo massacre" and called officials to take legal actions against it.
Dissident journalist Fatih Portakal, a well-known figure on TV who President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently targeted for his opponent comments, also criticised the statements. " This is a systematic policy of 'if you are not on my side, don't talk, shut up'. Threats, orders, frightening, suppression efforts," Portakal said.
Journalist and opposition deputy Ahmet Şık said it was an open call for a massacre by the mufti of the government.
Another opposition deputy Aytun Çıray said the mufti was calling for a civil war and massacre.