14 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
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Alert created on: 14 Jan 2019 Turkey

Turkish News Portal OdaTV Threatened with Violence "Like the Charlie Hebdo Attack"

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner AEJ EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner AEJ EFJ/IFJ
A Turkish religious official employed by Diyanet, the government’s Directorate of Religious Affairs, has been accused of inciting violent reprisals against the staff of the odaTV news portal by publicly condemning critics of Islamic teaching and invoking the 2015 massacre of journalists in the attack on the staff of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris in 2015. Senior journalists at odaTV say they received new online threat in the days following the utterances of Ahmet Altıok, a religious official or mufti who interprets Islamic law. In an interview with the İlke News Agency (İLKHA) published on 29 December 2018, Altıok verbally attacked odaTV over its critical reporting about the teaching of the doctrines of Islam in Turkish schools, including the concept of jihad. Altıok reportedly said he believed that ‘those who ridicule Muslims… will again be convicted in the eyes and hearts of society’. Senior journalists at odaTV said the mufti’s words amounted to an open death threat. They have filed a criminal complaint with police and called on the Turkish Justice and Interior Ministries, as well as Diyanet, to prevent the use of such inflammatory language by public officials and to ensure the safety of those working for odaTV. Similar demands have been made urgently by Turkish opposition politicians as well as by international organisations that work to protect journalists against all forms of attacks and threats.
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