Indignant: Turkey on Warpath over New Charlie Hebdo Erdogan Cartoon

Charlie Hebdo/Twitter

A Turkish government minister has called French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo “b*stards” and “sons of b*tches” over a new satirical cartoon showing President Erdogan in his underwear.

The frontpage cartoon of the magazine, which features Erdogan in his underwear looking at the bare bottom of a woman in an Islamic veil and bears the caption “in private he is very funny”, has earned the anger of the Turkish leader, who has now threatened legal action.

On Wednesday, the Turkish presidency’s communications directorate released a statement on the subject of the cartoon, according to Le Monde, saying: “The necessary legal and diplomatic actions will be taken against the said cartoon.”

Erdogan himself spoke about the caricature, saying: “I didn’t look at this cartoon (…) There is no need to say anything about these scoundrels.” He added: “My anger is not due to the despicable attack on my person, but to the insults against the prophet.”

Other Turkish politicians, meanwhile, overtly expressed their anger on social media over the depiction of the Turkish president.

Deputy Minister for Tourism Serdar Cam addressed Charlie Hebdo directly, saying: “You are bastards, you are sons of bitches.” While Istanbul politician Doç.Dr E.Sare Aydın stated: “Rag Charlie Hebdo‘s cover insults morals, ethics, and religion is even beyond hate speech, it is against human dignity.”

“We know the reason why you use such language against our faith and [President Erdogan]. You CAN NOT take away the love of Erdogan from our people’s hearts,” she added. 

Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish government’s communications director, added: “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. We condemn this most disgusting effort by this publication to spread its cultural racism and hatred.”

The Charlie Hebdo cartoon is just the latest incident that has increased tensions between France and Turkey since the murder of teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded by a radical Islamic terrorist after showing cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed to his class that were published by Charlie Hebdo

After French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to crack down on Islamist groups and associations, President Erdogan called the French leader mentally unwell, leading to France recalling its ambassador from Turkey. 

Erdogan went even further calling for a boycott of French products in Turkey just days later. Similar boycott calls have been seen across other Islamic countries, as well. 

While tensions have escalated in recent days, there have been rising tensions between the two countries previously over Turkey’s actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, with France supporting Greece and recently sending the French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle to the area. 

Erdogan pursuing legal action against those who lampoon him in Europe is also nothing new. In 2016, he expressed anger at an insulting poem published by German comedian Jan Böhmermann that was made in response to the Turkish government’s persecution of local journalists. 

Turkey has also threatened legal action against Dutch firebrand politician Geert Wilders over a cartoon he published on social media of Erdogan wearing a turban shaped like a bomb, likely a reference to one of the Mohammed cartoons published by Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten in 2005.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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