Erdogan, in the shadow of his caricature
“Charlie Hebdo: You are bastards. You are sons of bitches.
The story is just another chapter in the perennial case known as the “Mohammed cartoons” which, far from abating, has become chronic with no remedy in sight.
To sum up, after the brutal murder and beheading of Professor Samuel Paty in France, once again on account of the infamous cartoons. Emmanuel Macron stood up for the right to blasphemy, saying: “We will never give in”, in response to the call for a boycott of French products in the Middle East and North Africa.
As if the row did not already have enough contenders, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan entered the fray and, in addition to pushing for a boycott, questioned Macron’s mental health by asking: “What are you doing?
What problem does Macron have with Islam, what problem does he have with Muslims? Macron needs a mental care therapy”.
This provoked Macron the French newspaper will temporarily withdraw its cover his ambassador to Ankara. Erdogan also accused the West of trying to “relaunch the crusades”.
But as this clash is a long-distance race for the most forceful response, Charlie Hebdo appeared once again with a its front page s 28 October article depicting Erdogan in his underpants, which triggered an angry response from Turkey’s deputy culture minister.
Turkey announced legal and diplomatic action against the magazine over the cartoon. According to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, Erdogan’s lawyer, Hüseyin Aydin, has already filed a complaint for“insulting the president” with the Ankara public prosecutor’s office.
He is requesting that Dutch right-wing extremist Geert Wilders be tried under the Turkish criminal code for sharing a caricature of Erdogan with a bomb with a lit fuse on his head, inspired by one of the well-known Danish cartoons about Mohammed.
The Turkish public prosecutor’s office has also opened a criminal investigation against the magazine for publishing this cartoon of Erdogan in his pants in a festive attitude.
Reactions have come from various countries, including Egyptian President Abdelfatah al Sisi, said yesterday in allusion to the French president’s defence of the cartoons:
“If people have the right to express whatever comes to mind for their thoughts, I imagine that this stops when the feelings of more than 1.5 billion people are offended“.
From here I retort to the air. Yes, people’s right to express what comes to mind in their thoughts in order to draw some jokes exists, just as their right to complain and give their opinion on the matter exists. Beyond these natural or unnatural reactions, there is absolutely nothing except the laws on the matter. Of course those of each country within its borders.
Erdogan and the cartoons
Be that as it may, Erdogan’s administration is not exactly an example of good governance in terms of human rights freedoms and human rights, and his permanent anger at the cartoons, mainly those featuring his caricature, is already historic. The Turkish president has a long history of complaints against magazines and cartoonists. The private war that he is waging against cartoons and his obsession with denouncing, fining and arresting the authors, or anyone who spreads them, dates back to the early 2000s.
Three students arrested for banners “insulting” Erdogan
Three recent graduates of the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) in Ankara were arrested for carrying banners that, according to a statement issued by the public prosecutor’s office on 7 July, insulted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan has been persecuting the cartoonist for years Musa Kartand his colleagues at the daily Cumhuriyet, until he managed to put them in prison, and he also has a long list of complaints to remove content from the internet and also from has capped websites and blogs where cartoons and critical texts appear in an attempt to prevent them from receiving visits from Turkey.
For Erdogan, freedoms are a dead letter. And the freedom of the press is no exception. After brushing off a lot of newspapers, closing radio stations and television channels, he continued with the great purge in which at least 130 journalists were arrested after the coup attempt in 2016. He shut down some 150 media outlets in just three months.
Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (III)
Cases of cartoonists who have had problems of some importance because of their cartoons or satirical illustrations. There are also some stories of other people who, without being cartoonists, have had problems for sharing them.