UPDATE 06/06: latest reports indicate Kurtcebe has been released on probation. More to follow.
Respected political cartoonist & graphic novelist Nuri Kurtcebe has been given a 14 month prison sentence.
In what is becoming a depressingly familiar pattern, Turkish media reported yesterday that another high-profile press and media worker has fallen foul of Turkey’s penal system. Nuri Kurtcebe has been found guilty of “insulting” President Erdoğan in a cartoon from 2015.
Long-time readers of CRNI’s blog will recall that Erdoğan has engaged in industrial-scale persecution of academics, broadcasters, comedians, commentators and satirists for some time. Today Turkey ranks as the world’s number one jailer of journalists.
“Apparently, this ruling has not abandoned the idea of neutralizing cartoonists with prison sentences. I hope and pray that on June 25th this political climate devoid of humor will change. I am continuing to resume caricature and myths against the threats of repression and punishment.”
Kart refers to the presidential election later this month.
Kurtcebe is one of the co-founders of the original Gırgır magazine. Its successor was shut amid a “blasphemy” controversy last year which led to a third cartoonist, Seyfi Şahin being sent to prison two weeks ago.
We echo Musa Kart’s sentiments and hope that Turkey’s cartoonists can look forward to the return of normal working conditions in the near future.