Turkish president appeals acquittal of lampooning cartoonist

Last November Turkish editorial cartoonist Musa Kart was acquitted of charges brought by Turkish President Erdogan for “insulting through publication and slander” cartoons that were not flattering to the president. According to The New York Times, the president’s attorney is appealing that decision. The article also details some of the history of editorial cartooning in Turkey and the president’s attempts to quash free speech.

From The New York Times:

In another panel in August of the same year, he mocked Turkey?s Syria policy, depicting Mr. Erdogan and the foreign minister as figures on a Foosball table, declaring their autonomy, but controlled by a hand draped in an American flag.

But Mr. Kart?s cartoon targeting the corruption investigation, which Mr. Erdogan has characterized as an attempt by a rival Islamic group to overthrow his government, appeared to be the final straw. The investigation, which resulted in the resignations of three ministers, was seen as one of the most serious threats to Mr. Erdogan?s rule in more than a decade.

To many proponents of news media freedom, the legal action against Mr. Kart ? he faced nearly 10 years in prison on the charges ? was a warning to cartoonists that they were not safe from government retaliation.