Cartoonists Respond To President Erdogan’s Attack On Free Speech
IN Turkey – the UK and US’s ally – cartoonist Musa Kart has been arrested for “insulting” President Erdogan with a cartoon of the esteemed leader as a hologram looking on as a robbery takes place. It’s refence to a story on corruption in low places.
(If you think hurling an insult should not be a crime, you need to take a look at what passes for law breaking on Twitter. Turkey might not be so different to the UK )
Freedom of Speech is all important. Cartoonists came out on support of Kart on the #erdogancaricature hashtag. Erdogan alleged Kart was guilty of “insulting through publication and slander”.
Index on Censorship notes:
And while the court initially ruled that there were no legal grounds for action, this decision was revoked following complaints from Erdogan’s lawyer. Kart was also fined in 2005 for drawing Erdogan as a cat.
In court on Thursday, Kart stated: “Yes, I drew it [the cartoon] but I did not mean to insult. I just wanted to show the facts. Indeed, I think that we are inside a cartoon right now. Because I am in the suspect’s seat while charges were dropped against all the suspects [involved in two major graft scandals]. I need to say that this is funny.”
He was finally acquitted, but many of his fellow cartoonists has already shared their artistic interpretations of Erdogan and the case.
— deniz ay (@denoay) October 24, 2014
— T.C. Özlem D ⁵⁷⋅ᴬᶫᵃʸ (@Ozy1975) October 24, 2014
— Milana Knežević (@milanaknez) October 24, 2014
— Ben Jennings (@BJennings90) October 23, 2014
— Kanika Mishra (@kanikacart) October 23, 2014
— mortenmorland (@mortenmorland) October 22, 2014
— Royalty (@smyrna2nyc) October 24, 2014
— sibel (@sibel_thetis) October 24, 2014
Index on Censorship has a gallery of the reactions.