Turkey demands action from France over ‘Charlie Hebdo’ cartoon of President Erdoğan

This statement was originally published on bianet.org on 29 October 2020.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey has summoned the Charge D’affaires of France over the publication of a cartoon of President and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the front page of the Charlie Hebdo weekly satirical magazine.

As reported by the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA), the act has been strongly condemned, and the Charge D’affaires was told that “this despicable attack on personal rights and religious beliefs cannot be considered under freedom of the press and expression, and that French authorities are expected to take the necessary political and legal steps on these drawings that go beyond the limits of freedom of expression.”

The diplomatic sources said that “the issue of Armenians targeting Turkish citizens in France was also discussed.” The ministry reportedly asked the authorities in France “to take the necessary measures for the protection of Turkish citizens, and Muslims in general.”

What happened?

Following the murder of history teacher Samuel Paty, who had shown Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures of Prophet Mohammad to pupils in class about freedom of expression a few days before, the satirical magazine’s cartoons of the Prophet were projected onto government buildings in France.

In a speech a few days later, President and AKP Chair Erdoğan condemned both the remarks of President of France Emmanuel Macron, who had said that “Islam was in crisis”, and the projection of the cartoons to the government buildings. “What is the problem of this person called Macron with Islam and Muslims? Macron needs treatment on a mental level,” Erdoğan said, adding that Macron “needed a mental check.”

In response to this, France recalled its envoy in the capital city of Ankara to Paris for consultations. In a recent speech, President Erdoğan has also called on citizens “to not buy French products.”

Shortly afterwards, Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon of President Erdoğan, which has been condemned by Turkey. Earlier yesterday (October 28), top state officials, including Vice President Fuat Oktay, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın, and Ömer Çelik, the Spokesperson for the AKP, blasted the magazine.

While Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey would take up the matter internationally, Erdoğan filed a criminal complaint against the magazine for insulting him.

The post Turkey demands action from France over ‘Charlie Hebdo’ cartoon of President Erdoğan appeared first on IFEX.



Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is a network of human rights journalists in Uganda working towards enhancing the promotion, protection and respect of human rights through defending and building the capacities of journalists, to effectively exercise their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms for collective campaigning through the media.

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