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 website 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 Altiok, a religious official or mufti who interprets Islamic law. In an interview with the Ilke News Agency (ILKHA) published on December 29th. Altiok verbally attacked odaTV over its critical reporting about the teaching of the doctrines of Islam in Turkish schools, including the concept of jihad. Altiok 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 in the strongest terms by Turkish opposition politicians as well as by international organisations that work to protect journalists against all forms of attacks and threats.
The Association of European Journalists (AEJ) urges the Turkish authorities – especially the Diyanet- to act without delay, indict the clergyman and stop similar threats against journalists. AEJ brought the case to the attention of the platform to protect journalists at the Council of Europe.
CPJ calls on Turkey to ensure Odatv’s safety after eries of tthreats
Mufti Threatens News Website odaTV, reminds Charlie Hebdo