The cover of the French satirical newspaper “Charlie Hebdo” shows the Turkish President in underpants and with a beer can in hand. The Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office has started an investigation.
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attacked the French satirical newspaper “Charlie Hebdo” because of a caricature of him. He called those responsible for the newspaper villains and spoke of a “repulsive attack”. He did not even look at the drawing because he did not want to “honor such immoral publications”.
“I have nothing to say to these villains, who insult my beloved prophet to such an extent,” Erdogan said to members of his party in parliament. He was “sad and frustrated”, not because of the attack on him, but because of the insults against the Prophet Mohammed.
Erdogan in underpants and with beer in hand
“Charlie Hebdo” published a cartoon on the front page of its Wednesday edition showing Erdogan in a shirt and underpants with a can of beer. Erdogan then lifts the skirt of a veiled woman with the words “Ooh, the Prophet” and reveals her bare bottom. The cartoon is titled with the words: “Erdogan: In private he is very funny”. The issue was published online on Tuesday evening.
Turkey has therefore already announced legal and diplomatic steps. The Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation into the management of “Charlie Hebdo”. The Erdogan cartoon fueled the last escalated dispute between French President Emmanuel Macron and the Turkish head of state.
The French government protects “Charlie Hebdo”
The French government then reaffirmed the protection of freedom of expression. “Despite intimidation, France will never renounce its principles and values,” said government spokesman Gabriel Attal on Wednesday in Paris after a cabinet meeting.
Attal announced that the non-governmental organization Baraka City would be dissolved in the fight against radical Islamism. The move did not come as a surprise. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin had already announced the dissolution of the organization after the fatal attack on the teacher Samuel Paty.
Tensions over Mohammed cartoons
The latest tensions were triggered by Macron’s statements in defense of freedom of expression after the Islamist attack on a teacher near Paris who showed Mohammed cartoons by “Charlie Hebdo” in his class.
The French President then underlined the freedom of expression and said that such caricatures would continue to be shown in France. In response, Erdogan called for a boycott of French goods and asked Macron to have his “state of mind examined”.