Turkish court bans websites publishing Charlie Hebdo cover

Turkish court bans websites publishing Charlie Hebdo cover

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - A Turkish court on Wednesday ordered the telecommunications authority to ban access to websites showing Charlie Hebdo's front cover with the image of the Prophet Muhammad, a state-run news agency said.

The Anadolu Agency said the ban, which would block access to the websites in Turkey, was ordered by a court in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, according to the Dogan news agency. The decision came from the court, because a lawyer in Diyarbakir filed a petition saying the websites were a danger to "public order."

Earlier, police stopped trucks leaving a pro-secular newspaper's printing center and checked the paper's content after it decided to print a selection of Charlie Hebdo caricatures. The paper printed a four-page selection of cartoons and articles in a show of solidarity with Charlie Hebdo.

Cumhuriyet newspaper said police allowed distribution to proceed after thinking that the satirical French newspaper's latest cover featuring the prophet wasn't published. But two Cumhuriyet columnists used small, black-and-white images of the cover as their column headers in Wednesday's issue.

It wasn't immediately clear if the columnists' use of the cover image escaped the attention of police.

"While preparing this selection, we respected societies' freedoms of faith and religious sensitivities," Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Uktu Cakirozer said in a statement.

"There may have been some (people) who were worried that this would be an issue that would belittle religious beliefs... But I believe that people won't think that way when they see today's issue," Cakirozer later told The Associated Press in an interview.

On the two columnists' decision to use images of the cover in their columns, Cakirozer said: "That was the personal choice of our writers."

Police intensified security outside Cumhuriyet's headquarters and printing center as a precaution. Small groups of pro-Islamic demonstrators protested Cumhuriyet in Ankara and in the central city of Konya, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.