Last night, Police carried out a search on the delivery trucks of Cumhuriyet newspaper that today has published a 4-page selection from the new issue of Charlie Hebdo magazine. The Şişli, Istanbul, offices of the newspaper are currently sealed off by police for security purposes.
Upon allegations that Cumhuriyet newspaper would include in today’s issue the cover of the special issue of Charlie Hebdo magazine, police stopped delivery trucks when they were about to leave the paper’s print centre in Esenyurt, Istanbul, and carried out a search. Following the 40-minute search at 2 AM last night, the police communicated with the prosecutor and allowed the trucks to pass.
Security measures have been taken around Cumhuriyet newspaper against potential attacks.
Around midnight, an armored police vehicle arrived in front of the newspaper offices. And at 1 AM, the streets around the newspaper were sealed off from traffic with security strips and metal barriers. Police continue to patrol the vicinity of the newspaper, and newspaper security staff was also seen to be on alert.
Ankara offices targeted
A group of 15 identified people hang two banners on the garden wall of the Cumhuriyet Newspaper Ankara Offices, which featured the slogans, ‘Charlie continues its provocation’ and ‘You are both parallel [the derogatory term used by the ruling AKP to denote cleric Fethullah Gülen’s Hizmet group] and a generation of infidels, Cumhuriyet, who’s servant are you’. The group also took photographs of the banners, and left when the security officer of the newspaper came out. Upon the complaint of the security officer, teams from the Ankara Police Directorate Counterterrorism and Public Order branch teams were dispatched to the area. The police took photographs of the banners and carried out a brief investigation at the scene, also receiving a statement from the security officer. The teams examined the surveillance camera images of the newspaper and launched an investigation into the identities of the persons involved.
Statement from Cumhuriyet
Cumhuriyet had last night made a statement regarding its publishing of a selection from Charlie Hebdo.
The statement signed by editor-in-chief Utku Çakırözer is as follows:
“Cumhuriyet has lost writers to terror attacks in the past, and therefore understands very well the pain of the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
We have condemned this attack on the freedom of expression in the most severe manner. We have displayed our solidarity in our news reports and commentary.
As part of our solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, we feature a 4-page selection from its special edition in our newspaper today.
In preparing this selection, in light of our editorial code, we took the freedom of belief and religious sensitivities of all societies into consideration
Cumhuriyet will continue to defend the freedom of expression with all its strength as it always has.
Following broad debate and consultation, we did not include the cover of the magazine in our selection.”