Charlie Hebdo's new cover targeting Erdogan causes outrage in Turkey

An angry Erdogan said that anti-Turkism was on the rise in Europe during his party's parliamentary group meeting on 28 October 2020 (AFP)
An angry Erdogan said that anti-Turkism was on the rise in Europe during his party's parliamentary group meeting on 28 October 2020 (AFP)

In a fresh cover over his criticism of caricatures, it published mocking Prophet Muhammad, sparking a new wave of tensions in Turkey, French magazine Charlie Hebdo has targeted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

As convictions by senior Turkish politicians poured in, Ankara's chief prosecutor launched an investigation against the magazine's owners.

In a statement, the Turkish Presidency said Ankara would take every legal and diplomatic step to hold accountable those who have insulted Erdogan. It is a crime in Turkey to insult the Turkish president and is punishable by up to four years in prison.

Erdogan in a T-shirt and underpants was depicted in the drawing, drinking what appears to be beer and raising the skirt of a woman wearing a hijab to reveal her naked bottom. "Ooh, the prophet!" Erdogan is shown in the bubble as saying, while the title declares "Erdogan: he's very funny in private."

During a parliamentary address to his own party, Erdogan also commented on the cover, stating that he had heard that the magazine that insulted the Prophet Muhammad was now targeting him.

"I have not looked into the caricature because by even looking at it, I do not want to give credit to a magazine with an immoral editorial policy", he said. "There's nothing I need to say about these scoundrels who insulted our prophet."

Erdogan added that his sadness and rage were not about the "disgusting" attack on himself, but because of the prophet's vulgarity.


Earlier this week, as he continued the sharp criticism of his French counterpart over his attitude toward Muslims, Erdogan called on Turks to never buy French goods.

In response to the comments of French President Emmanuel Macron, a campaign to boycott French goods was launched in which he publicly supported the right to publish satirical caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad and accused Islam of being a "religion in crisis."

While paying tribute to a French school teacher, Samuel Paty, who was decapitated by a Muslim radical on 16 October after he had shown his students caricatures of the prophet, he made the remarks.

On Wednesday, Erdogan said anti-Islamic and anti-Turkish sentiments were rising in Europe, while Western leaders were turning a blind eye to the problem. He also continued his attacks against Macron, adding that after his initiative to reform the political system failed in that country following a disastrous blast at the port of Beirut in August, he was kicked out by the Lebanese people.

One stood out among the flurry of condemnations by the Turks against the cover of Charlie Hebdo.

"You are bastards. You are sons of bitches," Turkey's Deputy Minister of Culture Serdar Cam tweeted on Wednesday in French.

This week, Erdogan's remarks, in which he proposed "mental treatment" to the French president because of his views on freedom of speech and Islam, led to a mini-diplomatic crisis.

As French diplomats summoned the Turkish envoy for a dressing down over the remarks, France withdrew its ambassador to Turkey for' consultations.' France also called upon the European Union this week to adopt measures against Ankara.

"France is united and Europe is united. Europe will have to take decisions at the next European Council that will allow it to strengthen the balance of power with Turkey in order to better defend its interests and European values," said French Trade Minister Franck Riester on Tuesday.

Publish : 2020-10-28 21:09:00

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