The short URL of the present article is: http://cartoonistsrights.org/SXzfKMusa Kart was found not guilty of “insulting through publication and slander” Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a cartoon published in the daily Cumhuriyet on February 1, 2014.
The offending cartoon depicts Erdogan, then prime minister, as a hologram fecklessly looming over a money-laundering operation that purportedly involved hundreds of people as well as government officials. After the government squelched any investigation into the alleged scam, Musa Kart noted that the only one going to trial over the affair was the whistle-blowing cartoonist.
The court dismissed the charges against the award-winning Musa Kart on the first day of the trial, disappointing President Erdogan’s lawyers, who were hoping to land the defiant cartoonist a 9-year prison sentence.
“I think that we are inside a cartoon right now,” Kart is reported in Today’s Zaman as telling the judge as his slander trial, which commenced October 23.
“Because I am in the suspect’s seat while charges were dropped against all the suspects. I need to say that this is funny.”
Turkey under Erdogan is the world leader in jailing journalists according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, with the Istanbul-based media-advocacy group Bianet and Al Jazerra citing 19 jailed journalists and around 150 awaiting trial.
Martin Rowson, cartoonist for The Guardian, initiated a cartoon protest of Erdogan’s attempt to jail Musa Kart — which saw Erdogan caricatures flooding the internet, including those below by Martin Rowson, Steve Bright, Kanika Mishra and Morten Morlan
The short URL of the present article is: http://cartoonistsrights.org/SXzfK