Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summons French diplomat over insulting cartoon

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Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned the French Embassy charge d’affairs in Ankara on Oct. 28 over a provocative publication in the Charlie Hebdo magazine depicting a cartoon, which targeted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

It was emphasized in the meeting to the French Charge d’affaires that “this despicable attack on personal rights and religious beliefs cannot be evaluated within the scope of freedom of press and expression, and French authorities are expected to take the necessary political and legal steps on these drawings that go beyond the limits of freedom of expression,” according to the information obtained from anonymous diplomatic sources.

Besides, some Armenian circles in France have staged violent acts targeting Turkish citizens in the past few days, the Turkish ministry officials told the French diplomat, requesting the French authorities to take the necessary measures in every field, especially security, regarding “attacks and discriminatory attitudes against citizens and Muslims in the last period.”

Meanwhile, ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Ankara Youth Branch members protested the publications of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo in front of the French Embassy on Oct. 28.

The development comes amid widespread criticism of French President Emmanuel Macron for his controversial remarks on Islam and the Muslim community.

The French ambassador in Ankara was recalled to Paris for consultations as a reaction of the French administration to Erdoğan’s remarks that France’s president needs a “mental health check.”

Earlier this month, Macron described Islam as “a religion in crisis,” and announced plans for tougher laws to tackle “Islamist separatism” in France.

Tensions further escalated after the beheading of a high school teacher, Samuel Patty, on Oct. 16, who showed cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in class.

Cartoons by Charlie Hebdo were also projected on buildings in a few cities.

Macron defended the cartoons, saying France would “not give up our cartoons,” causing outrage across the Muslim world.

Hurriyet Daily News

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