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Charlie Hebdo: Turkey vows legal action over Erdogan cartoon

Turkey has vowed to take "legal, diplomatic actions" over a cartoon of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

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Turkey has vowed to take “legal, diplomatic actions” over a cartoon of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The cartoon depicts Turkey’s president lifting the dress of a veiled woman.

State media say Turkish prosecutors have launched an official investigation into the satirical magazine.

Tensions between France and Turkey are high after President Emmanuel Macron pledged a tougher stance against radical Islam.

Mr Erdogan, who has also launched legal action against an anti-Islam MP in the Netherlands over a separate cartoon, has called on Turks to boycott French goods and said Mr Macron needed “mental checks”.

The dispute has reverberated across the world, spurring boycotts and protests against France in several Muslim-majority countries including Bangladesh, Kuwait, Jordan and Libya.

The controversy also follows Mr Macron’s pledge to defend secularism after the gruesome murder of a French teacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class.

The president said the teacher, Samuel Paty, “was killed because Islamists want our future”, but France would “not give up our cartoons”.

Depictions of the Prophet Muhammad are widely regarded as taboo in Islam, and are offensive to Muslims.

But state secularism is central to France’s national identity. Curbing freedom of expression to protect the feelings of one particular community undermines unity, the state says.

  • The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday published a caricature of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan amid his tensions with French President Emmanuel Macron.
  • The cartoon depicts Erdogan sitting in his underwear, drinking a beer, and lifting up a woman’s hijab to expose her bare backside. Most Muslims consider drinking alcohol haram, or forbidden.
  • Erdogan has vocally condemned Macron’s recent attacks on Islam, saying on Saturday the French president needed “mental” treatment.
  • On October 2, Macron announced a law that would monitor and regulate France’s Islamic communities. Support for the law strengthened after the October 16 killing of a teacher who had shown his class cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad.
  • Charlie Hebdo’s inflammatory cartoons have prompted several terrorist attacks in recent years.

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