A Turkish court has sentenced two journalists to two years in prison each for “insulting religious values” after they reprinted a controversial cover from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo above their columns.
The two journalists Cumhuriyet’s, Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya will now spend the next two years behind bars for illustrating their columns with the controversial cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.
“The two journalists were sentenced to two years each in jail,” said Bulent Utku, lawyer for Hikmet Cetinkaya and Ceyda Karan.
“We will appeal the ruling at the appeals court,” Utku told AFP news agency following a hearing at Istanbul’s criminal court.
Writing on her Twitter account @ceydak, Karan lashed out at the Turkish government, saying: “Let our two-year sentence be a gift for our liberal fascists #JeSuisCharlie.”
Turkey’s Muslim constitution strictly separates state and religion, but its penal code makes it a crime to insult religion.
On January 14, 2015, Cumhuriyet (the newspaper that both convicted journalists write for) published a four-page Charlie Hebdo pullout translated into Turkish marking the French satirical weekly’s first issue since a deadly attack on its Paris offices by gunmen earlier that month.
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