Turkey fury after Charlie Hebdo gives Erdogan a taste of its cartoons

3 weeks ago 8

Turkey is furious after French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s comeback at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with a cartoon mocking him over his protest against France and tirade against French President Emmanuel Macron.

Turkey has threatened to sue the French magazine Charlie Hebdo with the official statement today saying, “We assure our people that necessary legal and diplomatic actions will be taken against this cartoon.”

Earlier, an Erdogan aide called the latest controversial cartoon by the French publication as “cultural racism”. Erdogan’s media adviser Faherttin Altun wrote on Twitter: “French President Macron’s anti-Muslim agenda is bearing fruit! Charlie Hebdo just published a series of so-called cartoons full of despicable images purportedly of our President. We condemn this most disgusting effort by this publication to spread its cultural racism and hatred.”

The front-page cartoon on Charlie Hebdo’s Wednesday edition was released on Tuesday night showing Erdogan leering at a woman wearing hijab.

The cartoon’s title, written in French, translates into English as, “Erdogan: in private, he’s very funny”.

Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin wrote on Twitter: “We strongly condemn the publication concerning our president of the French magazine, which has no respect to faith, the sacred and values.”

“The aim of these publications that are devoid of morality and decency is to sow seeds of hatred and animosity. To turn freedom of expression into hostility towards religion and belief can only be the product of a sick mentality,” Kalin said.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay called the Charlie Hebdo as “incorrigible French rag” while calling “on the moral and conscientious international community to speak out against this disgrace.”

This comes at a time when relation between Turkey and France has hit low following a row over Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons of Prophet Mohammed, which took a worse turn after a French teacher was beheaded in the outskirts of Paris for showing those cartoons to his students during a lecture of freedom of speech.

French President Macron had already announced bringing out legislation to strengthen the secular laws of the country. Following the beheading of the teacher, the controversial cartoons were displayed on some of the government buildings recently evoking a “Boycott France” call in the Middle-East countries.

Erdogan had reacted angrily saying Macron needed a “mental health check-up”. France responded by recalling its ambassador to Turkey. Erdogan also led the calls for a boycott of French products.

This has created ripples in the European Union, a free-market grouping of countries including Turkey. France and Turkey were already at variance over military issues for quite some time. Both are members of the Nato military alliance but have sparred over issues in Syria and Libiya.

The controversy surrounding Charlie Hebdo cartoons and Macron’s push for new secular legislation have soured Turkey-France relations further.

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