Monday, October 27, 2014

Erdogan cartoons: how artists responded to case against a Turkish colleague

Milana Knezevic in  X Index.

Cartoon By Martin Rowson
When Turkish political cartoonist Musa Kart faced nine years in prison for “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his colleagues from across the world fought back in the best way they know how — by drawing their own #erdogancaricature.

The online campaign was started on Thursday by Martin Rowson, cartoonist for The Guardian, The Independent and Index on Censorship among others, as Kart was scheduled to appear in court.

Erdogan himself filed the complaint against Kart over a cartoon published in the daily Cumhuriyet on 1 February 2014 showing the then prime minister as a hologram watching over a robbery. This was a reference to his alleged involvement covering up a high-profile graft scandal.

Erdogan claimed Kart was guilty of “insulting through publication and slander,” reports Today Zaman. And while the court initially ruled that there were no legal grounds for action, this decision was revoked following complaints from Erdogan’s lawyer.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.

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