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Turkish president files charges against cartoonist for slander

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has filed a criminal complaint against cartoonist Musa Kart for slander. The cartoon in question depicted the president (at the time of the cartoon he was prime minister) as a hologram watching over thieves stealing from a safe box. If convicted, Musa could get nine years in prison.

From Today’s Zaman:

Cumhuriyet reported on Monday that according to the indictment filed by the ?stanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, Erdo?an filed a criminal complaint against cartoonist Musa Kart for insulting him and slandering him via the media in a caricature that was published in the daily’s Feb. 1, 2014, edition. The press bureau of the prosecutor’s office initially ruled that there were no grounds for legal action over the caricature. However, upon objections from Erdo?an’s lawyer, the Bak?rköy 14th High Criminal Court ruled that the cartoon went beyond the boundaries of criticism and revoked the initial decision. The indictment filed afterward calls for a prison sentence of up to nine years and 10 months for Kart. The court will begin to hear Kart’s case on Oct. 23.

There are some cartoonists trying to raise awareness of the trial. Martin Rowson, a Guardian contributor has launched a Twitter campaign asking cartoonists around the world to draw caricatures of the Turkish president with the hashtag “#ErdoganCaricature

From the Guardian:

?Maybe, if it?s safe, a whole pile of cartoonists round the world should tweet their cartoons of Erdo?an to teach him some humility before God and us cartoonists. Otherwise he might give the very strong impression that he?s a chippy narcissistic despot. The very idea! I?ll file my #ErdoganCaricature tomorrow morning. Start scribbling, comrades!?

Community Comments

#1 Milt Priggee
October/27/2014
@ 4:15 am

SO- was it a caricature or was it a cartoon….? Slander? So the president is saying Musa Kart REALLY didn’t believe what he drew….? If we’re talking slander here, about an opinion piece…it comes down to….is this Musa Kart’s belief or not. If he drew something he really didn’t believe was his opinion…well he’s guilty as charged. The bigger question is ….how did the president find out Musa Kart really didn’t believe his own cartoon to be true…?

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