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DİSK Basın-İş condemns bloody attack on colleagues at Charlie Hebdo

 

On Jan. 7, 10 workers and two police officers were killed in an attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, while 10 others were injured, five of them seriously. Given that the attackers shouted “We’ve gained revenge for the Prophet” while escaping from the scene, it can be assumed that the reason for this bloody attack was Charlie Hebdo’s publication of a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.

As citizens of Turkey, we recognize this worldview and political stance from the murders of the 1990s in which people were buried alive in cement while hog-tied, as well as from the 1993 Sivas Massacre.

In many places around the world, journalists have come face-to-face with restrictions, pressure and attacks from states. Although this attack might appear different from the others at first glance, the attack was committed by political groups that have gained strength from states other than that in which the raid was conducted, while the aim was not simply to take revenge on the employees of the magazine, but also threaten those who wish to criticize Islam everywhere in the world.

Freedom of thought and the press is no different than any other in terms of limits. The names of the journalists murdered in France will be written into the pantheon of proud journalists in other countries who have been murdered by suspects that are known yet have never faced justice.

Readers have the right to criticize a newspaper, protest it and refuse to purchase it. However, murdering journalists is not a civil and democratic reaction; in contrast, it is organized violence.

Charlie Hebdo is a publication that has taken to task all religions and taboos – not merely Islam; indeed, it published an issue with Jesus Christ on the front cover only recently. As such, it is not possible to categorize this magazine’s criticism of Islam as Islamophobia, but it is certain that this attack will increase Islamophobia in Europe, as well as worries about and reactions toward Muslims.

We, as DİSK Basın-İş, condemn this bloody attack on our colleagues in France, while also registering our deep concern at how the attackers have been defended in a number of countries, particularly Turkey, how they have received material and emotional support and how sections of the Turkish press have embraced the attacks, either cautiously or openly. Just as we have opposed restrictions on freedom of thought and the press via measures imposed by the government/state, we likewise believe that it is impossible to accept political/ideological movements and actions that restrict such basic rights.