Cartoonist Martin Rowson has urged cartoonists to show solidarity with those facing persecution for caricaturing Turkey’s President Erdogan:
“President Erdoğan of Turkey is seeking 10 year stretch for a Turkish cartoonist. Recently another Turkish cartoonist was heavily fined for drawing Erdogan as a cat.
“Maybe, if it’s safe, a whole pile of cartoonists round the world should tweet their cartoons of Erdoğan 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!” [The Guardian]
Here are a few starting with Martin’s:
In the last few hours it has been reported the cartoonist Musa Kart has been acquitted:
Cumhuriyet daily Cartoonist Musa Kart has been cleared of charges that he had insulted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — who was prime minister when Kart drew a picture of him during an infamous corruption investigation last year.
In Thursday’s hearing of the trial against Kart, which was handled by the İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance, the artist said in his defense: “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.”
The cartoonist added that it was impossible for writers and cartoonists to remain silent in the face of the graft scandals, which went public on Dec. 17 and Dec. 25.
The court acquitted Kart.
President Erdoğan had filed a criminal complaint against Kart in February, when he was still prime minister, claiming that the artist had committed the crime of “insulting through publication and slander” via a cartoon. Kart had drawn a hologram of Erdoğan serving as a watchman in a robbery. Following Erdoğan’s complaint, the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office dropped the charges against Kart. However, the decision was appealed by a lawyer representing Erdoğan. A prison sentence of 10 months was sought for Kart. [Source]
Did Rowson mean ten years (top quote) or ten months as mentioned in news source just quoted above in last line?
Needless to say, when satirical cartoonists are harassed, we should pay attention.
Update 25/10 12:35AM
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog