urkish government has accused the French magazine Charlie Hebdo of “cultural racism” after it published an image poking fun at the nation’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Speaking of the image, the president’s press officer, Fahrettin Altun, said on Twitter that the the government of Turkey “(C)ondemn this most disgusting effort by this publication to spread its cultural racism and hatred,” before referring to a spat from last week which led to the French ambassador to Turkey being recalled after the Turkish president questioned the mental state of French President Emmanuel Macron, saying “French President 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.”
The image will be seen on the Wednesday issue of Charlie Hebdo at news stands later today, although an online version was released overnight.
The image in question depicts President Erdogan in a wearing a T-shire and in his underwear while drinking beer. With one hand he is seen lifting the skirt of a woman in a hijab to reveal her bottom. Erdogan is seen saying “Ooh, the prophet!” in a speech bubble with the image carrying a title of “Erdogan: in private, he’s very funny”.
The Charlie Hebdo cartoon comes at a time Turkey and France have been engaged in a war-of-words after a suspected Islamist beheaded a French schoolteacher, Samuel Paty earlier in October.
North of Paris, in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said of the recent Turkish claims “I have a message for President Erdogan and that message is simple: In the Netherlands, freedom of expression is one of our highest values.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also defended President Macron, saying of Erdogan’s insults. “They are defamatory comments that are completely unacceptable, particularly against the backdrop of the horrific murder of the French teacher Samuel Paty by an Islamist fanatic.”