Ankara will provide a judicial and diplomatic response

Erdogan caricatured by Charlie Hebdo: Ankara will provide a “judicial and diplomatic” response

Turkey announced Wednesday that it would take “judicial and diplomatic” measures after the publication by the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo of a cartoon of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“The necessary legal and diplomatic actions will be taken against the said cartoon,” the Turkish presidency’s communications directorate said in a statement in French, amid growing tensions between Ankara and Paris.

Shortly after this statement, the Ankara prosecution announced the opening of an investigation against the leaders of Charlie Hebdo.

The French satirical magazine published Tuesday evening on social networks the front page of its last number, on which is spread a caricature of Mr. Erdogan in underwear, beer in hand, which lifts the dress of a veiled woman in s’ shouting: “Ouuuh! The prophet!”

This unflattering portrayal of the Turkish leader aroused Ankara’s ire.

The Turkish presidency condemned Wednesday with “the greatest firmness” this “abject caricature” which reflects, according to it, “hostility against the Turks and Islam”.

These new tensions come in a context of diplomatic crisis between Turkey and France, two NATO member countries with turbulent relations.

On Monday, Mr. Erdogan thus called on his fellow citizens to boycott French products, a few days after Paris recalled its ambassador to Ankara after the Turkish head of state questioned the “mental health” of his French counterpart.

Turkey accuses French President Emmanuel Macron of having expressed support for the freedom to caricature the Prophet Muhammad, during a tribute to a French teacher killed by beheading for showing caricatures of him in class.

Charlie Hebdo originally published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2006 – like other European newspapers – in defense of press freedom after their publication by a Danish daily angered many Muslims.

The weekly was the victim in 2015 of a jihadist attack that killed 12 people, including journalists and cartoonists from the newspaper.

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