Charlie Hebdo's caricature featuring Erdogan deepens spat between Turkey, France

Shalini Ojha
·3-min read

Charlie Hebdo
Charlie Hebdo

28 Oct 2020: Charlie Hebdo's caricature featuring Erdogan deepens spat between Turkey, France

France's satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, has become the latest reason for tensions between Paris and Ankara after Wednesday's edition mocked Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey called the magazine's raunchy cartoon "disgusting stuff" aimed at spreading "cultural racism and hatred."

The publication's interference comes amid an already heated war-of-words between Turkey and France after the latter's leader condemned radical Islam over the beheading of a teacher.

Caricature: Magazine mocked Erdogan, showed him lifting woman's skirt

The latest caricature, released online on Tuesday night, showed underpants-wearing Erdogan, sipping beer while lifting the skirt of a hijab-clad woman.

"Ooh, the prophet!" said one of the characters in the cartoon titled, "Erdogan: in private, he's very funny."

Charlie Hebdo is famous for publishing racy cartoons of Prophet Mohammad, which the Muslims find blasphemous. The cartoons have gotten Charlie Hebdo attacked multiple times.

Reactions: These publications want to sow seeds of hatred: Erdogan's spokesperson

Condemning the cartoon, Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, tweeted, "We strongly condemn the publication concerning our president of the French magazine, which has no respect to faith, the sacred and values."

"The aim of these publications, that are devoid of morality and decency, is to sow seeds of hatred and animosity," added Kalin.

Meanwhile, Vice President Fuat Oktay asked the international community to speak up.

Fact: "Cartoons a result of Macron's anti-Muslim agenda"

"French President (Emmanuel) Macron's anti-Muslim agenda is bearing fruit! Charlie Hebdo just published a series of so-called cartoons full of despicable images purportedly of our president. We condemn this most disgusting effort by this publication to spread its cultural racism and hatred," Erdogan's communications director, Fahrettin Altun, said.

Details: Macron's statements on Islam have irked Muslim leaders

To note, French President Emmanuel Macron has angered the Muslim world with his remarks, one of them being, "Islam is a religion that is in crisis all over the world."

After teacher Samuel Paty was killed in Paris, for showing students aged between 12 and 14 Charlie Hebdo's cartoons while teaching about freedom of speech, Macron said he was a victim of Islamist terrorism.

Question: What is Macron's problem with Muslims and Islam, asked Erdogan

Unhappy with Macron's recent statements, Erdogan asked, "What is the problem of this person called Macron with Muslims and Islam? Macron needs treatment on a mental level."

While Turkey's economy remains in dire condition, Erdogan also called on citizens to boycott French products.

In some supermarkets of Qatar and Kuwait, French products were removed from shelves, to reflect anger against Macron.

Details: Anti-France rally in Bangladesh; Pakistan's PM condemned Macron

Tellingly, Macron has also upset Bangladesh with his statements. In capital Dhaka, 40,000-people participated in an anti-France rally, burnt Macron's effigy, and demanded a ban on French items.

Pakistan's Imran Khan, known to play into religious hardliners, opined Macron must have provided a healing touch rather than "creating further polarisation and marginalization that inevitably leads to radicalization."

Envoy: Pakistan wants to recall envoy from France. It has none!

On a related note, while Pakistan hopped on the trend to slam France, it found itself in an embarrassing situation yesterday after the National Assembly passed a resolution asking Islamabad to recall its envoy from the European nation.

The Assembly, surprisingly, overlooked the fact that Pakistan doesn't have an ambassador in France as the last one, Moin-ul-Haq, was transferred to China three months ago.