Paris(AFP): The French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo is publishing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed…
Ankara, Raziye Akkoc(telegraph): Just weeks after Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed “Je Suis Charlie”, Facebook blocks pages showing the Prophet Mohammed. The decision comes weeks after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg gave his support to freedom of speech proclaiming “Je Suis Charlie”
Muslim protestors shout slogans during a protest against the publication by Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet of a a four page pull-out containing cartoons and articles translated into Turkish from the historic Charlie Hebdo issue, on January 14, 2015 near the newspapers’ premises in Istanbul Photo: AFP/Getty
Facebook has agreed to block pages showing images of the Prophet Mohammed after a Turkish court ruling, despite its chief executive giving his support to freedom of speech proclaiming “Je Suis Charlie”.
A court in the Turkish capital, Ankara, ruled that several Facebook pages were “insulting the Prophet Mohammed” and Facebook agreed to block access on January 25.
The court also said if the ruling was not adhered to, Facebook access would be wholly removed in the country, according to Hurriyet Daily News.
The company’s decision comes after Mark Zuckerberg said on Facebook that the site followed the laws of the country “but we never let one country or group of people dictate what people can share across the world”.
The billionaire added: “I’m committed to building a service where you can speak freely without fear or violence… #JeSuisCharlie.”
The Je Suis Charlie (“I am Charlie”) hashtag was used across the world in support of those killed during the Paris attacks in which 17 people died. Terrorists, Said and Cherif Kouachi, killed 12 people during their attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s offices.
The brothers claimed the attack was motivated by insulting images of Prophet Mohammed featured in the magazine. Amedy Coulibaly, an accomplice, killed four Jewish hostages during a kosher supermarket siege earlier this month.
Twitter was banned for a month in Turkey in March 2014 in the run-up to local elections in the country. It had been a tense period for the then Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with alleged wiretapped recordings of senior officials released on the microblogging website. The current Turkish president said at the time he wanted to “root out” networks.
The decision by Facebook – which has so far declined to comment – is not unique. The company often complies to government requests and warrants, which is not shocking since it says it must follow the laws of the countries it provides its services to.
Turkey is no stranger to making censorship requests and is the second-highest in the top 10 of countries making such applications. The latest transparency report covering the first half of 2014 shows the country had 1,893 pieces successfully censored and only India was higher with 4,960 pieces.
On its website, Facebook said it “restricted access to a number of pieces of content primarily reported by the Turkish Information and Communication Technologies Authority and Turkish law enforcement officials under local laws, especially law 5651, which covers a range of offences including defamation of Atatürk [founder and former president of the modern Turkish republic] and personal rights violation.”