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Turkey – So Angry About Cartoons

Here’s Turkey’s president by our Dutch cartoonist Bart van Leeuwen.

There’s another cartoon controversy that is causing friction for France. This time it is Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who is outraged by a cartoon that he claims he hasn’t seen, that graces the cover of Charlie Hebdo’s current edition. Turkey has been outraged recently by French president Macron’s defense of offensive cartoons as “freedom of expression” in the wake of the murder of a French school teacher who showed Charlie Hebdo cartoons in his class as part of a civics lesson. Erdogan accused Macron of being mentally unhinged, leading France to withdraw their ambassador to Turkey and both presidents are carrying on a worsening dispute, with Macron backed by European leaders and Erdogan backed by protesting Muslim countries.

The cartoon that offends Erdogan shows him in his underwear, lifting the skirt of a traditionally dressed Muslim woman, exposing her bare bottom, with Erdogan exclaiming, “OOH! THE PROPHET!” Both figures appear to be drinking beverages containing alcohol, a taboo for observant Muslims. The cartoon is signed “Alice,” a cartoonist who I don’t know, who my French cartoonist friends don’t know, and who is not credited in any news reports that I’ve seen.

“Insulting the president” is a crime in Turkey and Erdogan has a history of retaliating against people who insult him; more than 36,000 people faced criminal investigation and thousands have been imprisoned for insulting Erdogan in 2019, according to a report from the Stockholm Center for Freedom.

Erdogan’s lawyer filed a criminal complaint against Charlie Hebdo’s management with Ankara’s prosecutor stating that the Charlie Hebdo cover cartoon amounted to “criminal libel” that is “not covered by freedom of expression,” according to state news agency Anadolu. Turkey is now promoting a boycott of French products. Protests against Charlie Hebdo cartoons are again springing up in a number of Muslim countries, focusing their ire on French President Emmanual Macron and demanding that cartoons criticizing the Prophet Muhammad should be banned in Europe.  Here’s a good article from Britain’s Daily Mail.

Erdogan has overseen the mass imprisonment and suppression of journalists who are critical of his regime.  Lately, he seems to be picking a variety of fights with many countries about different issues.

Turkish cartoonist Musa Kart recently spent a year and a half in jail for his drawings. Kart famously drew a cartoon depicting Erdogan as an orange cat that landed him in prison on an earlier occasion. Cartoonists around the world drew cartoons in support of Kart; here’s one that I drew in support of Kart when he was in prison.

I did a quick search and I found that we have 716 cartoons about Erdogan on PoliticalCartoons.com. It is no surprise that Erdogan’s short fuse and suppression of the press has made him a favorite target for cartoonists around the world.

Freedom of expression is often brought up in defense of offensive cartoons, especially against tyrants who seek to ban speech that offends them. That said, freedom of expression is not a reason to publish offensive cartoons. Cartoonists have the freedom to be asses, but we should choose not to be asses.

I would have killed the cartoon on the cover of the current Charlie Hebdo issue if it had been submitted to me – but it is a top story in the news today, so I posted it here in our blog. It is the crazy reaction to the cartoon that makes the cartoon newsworthy.

Here is a nice selection from our vast, Erdogan cartoon archive.

Robert Rousso, France

 

Christo Komarnitsky, Bulgaria

 

Joep Bertrams, The Netherlands

 

Marian Kamensky, Austria

 

Tchavdar Nicolov, Bulgaria

 

Arend van Dam, The Netherlands


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The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!

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Trump’s Gift for Putin

It seems like Trump is always coming up with new ways to please his buddy Putin. Syria is the latest gift.

 

Here’s a different perspective on happy Putin, from my buddy David Fitzsimmons.

 

Turkey’s president Erdogan call his invasion of the USA’s former Kurdish friends’ territory, “Operation Peace Spring,” which sounds very nice, as Bas van der Schot points out.

 

Adam Zyglis draws Putin and Erdogan and Turkey …

 

Here’s RJ Matson’s view; I love the tie.

 

 

 

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Kurds Screwed!

I’m back from our annual CagleCartoons trip to France!  I’ll post about that soon.  Sorry for the time away from the blog!

While I was gone, President Trump betrayed the Kurds and invited Turkey to invade Syria, setting up a chain of events that essentially hand all of Syria to Russia and Iran. Right when I should have been at the drawing board, I was away, and then bogged down in doing the quarterly artists royalties. Arrgh! Here’s my “Kurds Screwed” cartoon.

A lot of cartoonists drew the Kurds being stabbed in the back. I liked this one by Adam Zyglis …

This is a nice one from Rick McKee

This realistic cartoon by Bart van Leeuwen –I’m not sure I understand this one, but I know how much it hurts to step on Legos.

This one by RJ Matson made me laugh and cry.

Everything by Steve Sack is great …

 

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Free Musa Kart

Political cartoonist Musa Kart is in jail again in Turkey, for another year, for doing his job. I have written about this before.

Some cartoonists answered a recent call from Cartooning for Peace to submit more drawings in support of Musa. Go to #freemusakart or try this link see these drawings on Twitter.

Many of the cartoons include cats because of Musa’ famous cartoon of Turkey’s despot, Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a cat that first drew Erdogan’s ire and landed Musa in prison. That my own cartoon contribution at the right.

My buddy Pedro Molina did a very nice recap of Musa’s story in comic form – see it below. Pedro recently escaped from persecution by Daniel Ortega’s thugs in Nicaragua and is living at an undisclosed location outside of the country.


Want to help Musa? Write a letter to the two diplomats at the addresses below.

Jeffrey M. Hovenier, Charges d’Affaires
Embassy of the USA to Turkey
110 Atatürk Blvd.
Kavaklıdere, 06100 Ankara
Turkey

H.E. Serdar Kılıç,
Embassy of the Republic of Turkey to the United States of America
2525 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008


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Slap Slap

Here’s Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman slapping Uncle Sam around a bit, with the dismembered gauntlet/hand of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. It looks like Uncle Sam is just going to turn the other cheek.

While I was working on this one, I read news reports that Turkey’s secret recording of the alleged murder include the sounds of Saudi agents cutting off all of Khashoggi’s fingers, while he was still alive, during his “interrogation.” That left me in cartoonist conundrum – should I draw the slapping hand with all the fingers removed? That would be hard to read, and most people wouldn’t know the story about Khashoggi’s fingers reportedly being chopped off. I went with the fingers still attached – after all, “we need to wait for the Saudi’s to conclude their investigation.”

Those Saudi royals make life tough for cartoonists too.

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Trump and Saudi Prince Bin Salman

Here’s president Trump shaking hands with Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman, who has blood on his hands for allegedly ordering the murder and dismemberment of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi. Trump has been quite chummy with Saudi Arabia which seems to be a house of horrors, accounting for most of the 9/11 killers, and a long history of human rights abuses and recent ugly overkill in Yemen.

I like the idea of the black and white image with only the blood in red. Look familiar? I did much the same thing with Trump and Kim Jong Un.

As Trump continues to cozy up to murderous dictators, maybe I’ll make this into a series.

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TRUE Crazy Stuff 4!

Here’s a new batch of my old TRUE cartoons. This first one is a self-portrait of younger me, sitting on the toilet, talking on my land-line rotary phone. Looking at the old True cartoons makes me feel young again, until I notice details that make me feel old.

 

 

 

 

 

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Flynn the Albatross

Here’s Trump with Michael Flynn as an albatross around his neck.

This is one of those cartoons that will make kids ask, “What does your cartoon MEAN?” The “albatross around the neck” expression is probably meaningless to them, and they won’t know the news about former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn taking big payments from Russia and Turkey, and not reporting them as the law requires. Usually kids don’t “get” cartoons because they don’t follow the news and don’t know the characters.

Flynn is a wonderful cartoon character and I suppose it is nice to see him not entirely disappear. His face is the natural face of an albatross. I drew Flynn a couple of times recently as he was being fired. See them below. We have lots of Flynn cartoons on Cagle.com – come take a look!

 

 

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Turkish Cartoon Crackdown, Again and Again, and Now Worse

Most Americans don’t follow the news from Turkey, especially with our election looming next week. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been cracking down on opposition throughout Turkey in the wake of a failed coup attempt a few months back, with tens of thousands of alleged coup collaborators either jailed or fired from their jobs.musacartoon It seems that a failed coup is also a great excuse to get rid everyone Erdogan already didn’t like who weren’t involved with the coup as Erdogan has closed down virtually all of the media outlets that have been critical of him. The only opposition newspaper left, Cumhuriyet, was raided last week with their editors, their top writers and their editorial cartoonist thrown in jail.

To see that Erdogan’s purge extends well beyond those who were involved in the coup, look no farther then Musa Kart, the jailed editorial cartoonist for Cumhuriyet, who’s cartoons have enraged Erdogan for many years. Here’s an article from Cartoonists Rights Network (CRNI) about how Erdogan tried to put Musa in jail for nine years for the 2014 cartoon at the right that depicts corruption as a hologram of Erdogan looks away; the courts dismissed the case. Here’s an article from the Committee to Protect Journalists with a broader update on Erdogan’s recent press purges.

kartcat60Musa’s 2005 cartoon of Erdogan as a cat tangled in strings produced a similar battle with an offended Erdogan, who clearly has a thin skin when it comes to cartoons. Musa was sentenced to prison, his penalty was reduced to a fine, and the courts later dismissed the fine.

Cartoonists around the world have drawn cartoons supporting Musa when he was arrested before and a new pitch for cartoons is coming from my buddies at Cartooning for Peace (CFP). I’ve posted the column from CFP below along with one of the cartoons supporting Musa from India’s Paresh Nath.


Turkish cartoonist Musa Kart detained by police along with journalists from opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet
From Cartooning for Peace

On Monday 31th October several members of staff from the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet have been detained by police following raids on their homes. These include editor in chief Murat Sabuncu, the paper’s lawyer and cartoonist Musa Kart.

His home was searched by police around 5am before he went to the police station for questioning, apparently with his lawyer. Musa is no stranger to harassment from the regime. In 2014, following the publication of one cartoon refering to a money laundering scandal involving many people close to Erdogan, cartoonist Musa Kart was facing a 9 years imprisonment. He was finally acquitted of the charges. As he left the building to surrender to police, Kart told reporters:

“How will they explain this to the world? I am being taken into custody for drawing cartoons.”

“I’ve been trying for years to turn what we’re living through in this country into cartoons. Now I feel like I’m living in one.”

On Tuesday 1st November hundreds of protestors camped overnight in protest at the Istanbul headquarters of Cumhuriyet – last symbol of the fight for freedom of speech in Turkey.

A statement from the Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office said those detained were suspected of “committing crimes” on behalf of the Gülen movement, accused by the government of masterminding the coup attempt in July.

The Turkish government has embarked upon a “purge without limits” according to Christophe Deloire, secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders:

“Cumhuriyet is once again the target of persecution, another 15 media have been closed and there is hardly anyone left to cover this. (…) If Turkey does not stop using the state of emergency to kill off media freedom it will soon be too late. At this rate, media pluralism will be a distant memory before long. Are people sufficiently aware of the dramatic change taking place in this country, where no media outlet seems to be safe from this never-ending purge?”

This marks a new chapter in media and press persecution by the Turkish state. 170 media outlets had been shut down since the attempted coup and 105 journalists arrested. Authorities revoked the press accreditation of more than 700 journalists while thousands of journalists are unemployed.

Cartooning for Peace is starting a campaign to support cartoonists, journalists and freedom of speech in Turkey.

Cartoonists from all over the world, including members of Cartooning for Peace, are already sharing their drawings. See more of the cartoons in support of Musa here.

paresh-kart

This one is by our own Paresh Nath of India. See more of Paresh’s cartoons here.

 

 

 

 

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Ugly Purge Lands a Turkish Cartoonist in Jail – Again

UPDATE Friday August 19, 2016: Dogan Guzel is released! Read about it in Spanish here, and the Google translation of the article here.

Two great cartooning organizations that I support, Cartooning for Peace and Cartoonists Rights Network International are spotlighting the arrest and imprisonment of Turkish cartoonist Dogan Güzel who was swept up in a mass arrest of journalists as he was visiting colleagues at the pro-Kurdish newspaper, Özgür Gündem in central Istanbul, which was raided and closed in the wake of the failed July 15th coup in Turkey. The Turkish police reportedly confiscated computers at the newspaper offices, which editors described as “looting” on Twitter.

GuzelLarge
Cartoonist Dogan Güzel being dragged off off to jail this week in a mass arrest at a small newspaper in Istanbul. He reportedly asked an attorney for a new shirt.

Dogan was convicted, sentenced to seventeen years in prison and spent a year and a half in jail for drawing cartoons critical of the regime in Turkey. He was given amnesty in 1999 and moved to Spain where he lived for more than ten years and was given political asylum; he is a Spanish citizen. He now lives in both Seville and Istanbul. Dogan is being held on the charge of “making propaganda for the Kurdish armed group PKK”.

The Özgür Gündem newspaper is small, with a circulation of only 6,700; it has been banned many times for its coverage of the Kurdish conflict, a continuing thorn in the side of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who seems to be using the coup as an opportunity jail all of his critics. Here is a nice report in Spanish. There is little or no coverage of this story in English.

Cartooning for Peace is soliciting cartoonists to draw on Dogan’s behalf. Cartoonists Rights Network International posted the report below.


Cartoonist Dogan Güzel was among the journalists arrested in the government raid on the Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem in Istanbul on Tuesday. Photos show the cartoonist in a torn shirt in police custody. In 1999, Dogan Güzel was the first recipient of CRNI’s Courage in Political Cartooning award. At that time, he had just spent a year in jail for “drawing a cartoon that called the state ‘weak,’ and for publishing his cartoons in the Kurdish language.” Cartoonists Rights joins Reporters Without Borders in condemning the closure of the newspaper and calls for the release of the journalists.

Message from CRNI founder Robert Russell
We have recently come to know that our friend and former Courage in Editorial Cartooning award winner, Dogan Güzel, has been rounded up in a raid on his newspaper in Turkey.
 
We call on the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to quickly release our colleague Dogan Güzel, and all other journalists who are legally carrying out their professional duties in accordance with their constitutional rights. This kind of thing will happen in any country where the head of state is allowed to act as if they are more important than the constitution that they swore to protect. All of Turkey seems to be evolving into its own prison.
Robert Russell
Executive Director

Here is a sample of Dogan’s work. See more here.

DoganSample750
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Today’s E-mail Interview with a Turkish Newspaper

When I take the time to write responses to a questions from reporters, I think I’ll post them here. This one is from a Turkish newspaper today.

Hi Daryl,

Thanks so much. Here’s a few questions. I’m really interested in your views and opinions:

Do you think Le Monde cartoonist (Jean Plantureux) purposely left out Turkey – from his recent image?

Do you think cartoonists must ensure that symbols like flags are correctly interpreted?
 
Do you think Twitter and Facebook followers really understand why they are changing their Facebook profiles to various flags etc.

Besides Turkey, Paris and Belgium – there’s been attacks this past year in Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Chad,  Tunisia, Egypt, etc – across the globe. Do you think there are double standards when it come to Western media response to such attacks?

Many thanks


DPlantu france belgiumear …,

Do you think Le Monde cartoonist (Jean Plantureux) purposely left out Turkey – from his recent image?

I think Plantu draws exactly what he means to draw.

Do you think cartoonists must ensure that symbols like flags are correctly interpreted?

 

France Belgium Turkey flag cartoonCartoonists want readers to correctly understand their cartoons. Cartoons that are misunderstood are ineffective cartoons. Cartoonists are in the business of communicating their ideas. There is nothing we can do to insure that readers correctly interpret our cartoons, except to strive to draw good cartoons. I don’t think of “flags” as something to interpret, except that I generally understand that American readers don’t recognize the flags of other countries. Worldwide cartoonists typically use flags to represent countries more often than American cartoonists

Do you think Twitter and Facebook followers really understand why they are changing their Facebook profiles to various flags etc. 

I’m aware of the French flags in the profile pictures on Facebook in response to the attacks in France; the Facebook users intended to make an expression of solidarity with the French in response to the terror attacks. I haven’t followed other instances of flags in Facebook profile pictures.

Besides Turkey, Paris and Belgium – there’s been attacks this past year in Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Chad,  Tunisia, Egypt, etc. – across the globe. Do you think there are double standards when it come to Western media response to such attacks? 

Terror attacks in countries that have frequent terror attacks are not as newsworthy as attacks in countries where these events are a new trend. I suppose this can be argued to be a double standard in the respect that human life should have the same value everywhere.

President Obama reportedly argues that deaths from “slipping in bathtubs” accounts for more lives lost than terrorism. Surely more people die from bathtub falls in China than anywhere else, simply because there are more people in China; by that measure, the news should always be dominated by bathtub deaths in China rather than terrorism. It is the role of editors to decide what news is most important; I don’t consider these editorial decisions to be a “double standard.” I’m more interested in news on the Brussels attacks than I am in news about still more carnage in Chad.

I don’t know the origin of the altered Plantu cartoon that you sent to me, including the Turkish flag character. I’m guessing it wasn’t drawn by Plantu, but rather by a copyright-infringing reader who wanted to make a different point, that Turkey has suffered more terrorist attacks than France and Belgium.

Please send me a copy when you come out with your article.
Best,

Daryl

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Syria Doggies, Turkey, Immigration and Cookie Monster!

Here are my new cartoons!  The most recent one is about Obama’s response to the crisis in Syria.  Drawing Arabs as dogs is deeply insulting – I suppose that just puts dogs onto cartoonists’ palettes of cliches.  I may get some angry mail for this one.  I’m annoyed by Obama’s worthless response to Syria, at the same time, I’m happy that Obama isn’t jumping in to chew it up in this Syrian dogfight when both sides look to be bad guys.

132900 600 Syria Doggies, Turkey, Immigration and Cookie Monster! cartoons

 

This one is a drawing of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  He’s a pretty easy caricature, and I think I nailed him.

132771 600 Syria Doggies, Turkey, Immigration and Cookie Monster! cartoons

… still, I hate to put labels in cartoons – particularly when the label is to identify someone who is drawn with an identifiable caricature, something lousy cartoonists do when they can’t draw good caricatures.  Sometimes I just can’t depend on the readers to know what the guy will look like and I have to put in a label – still I hate it, so I distributed a second version of this one without a label.  I suppose this would work as an illustration for an op-ed piece about the turbulence in Turkey.  He’s a fun guy to draw.  I love the shape of his head.  I also like his middle name – it sounds like something Paris Hilton’s dog would say.

132772 600 Syria Doggies, Turkey, Immigration and Cookie Monster! cartoons

This one is about the split in the Republican party on immigration Reform.  I suppose we’ll see if any reform-candy comes out of that pinata next week.

132712 600 Syria Doggies, Turkey, Immigration and Cookie Monster! cartoons

The next one is a Muppet cartoon, with Cookie Monster the Republican enjoying all the White House scandals.

132570 600 Syria Doggies, Turkey, Immigration and Cookie Monster! cartoons

Regular readers here know that I worked for the Muppets for the first half of my career and I’m a big Muppet fan.  I draw a Muppet themed cartoon about once a year – this is a good excuse to show a few more …

I drew this one back in the George W. Bush days when we were all talking about torture and water-boarding.

31472 600 Syria Doggies, Turkey, Immigration and Cookie Monster! cartoons

I once illustrated a whole childrens’ book about Elmo – who claims a permanent space in my brain – oh!  I hear the voice!  I drew the one below when we got the news about the CEO of Chick-fil-A opposing gay rights, and the Muppets spoke out against it and in favor of gay rights – makes me proud of my Muppet roots.
116279 600 Syria Doggies, Turkey, Immigration and Cookie Monster! cartoons

This one was when congress was threatening to cut funds to public broadcasting – and Sesame Street.

90283 600 Syria Doggies, Turkey, Immigration and Cookie Monster! cartoons

When the Sesame Street people decided to make Cookie Monster love vegetables, and made cookies a “sometimes food” I drew this one.
14745 600 Syria Doggies, Turkey, Immigration and Cookie Monster! cartoons

I drew this one when there was a scandal at Goldman Sachs, and it was revealed that greedy, Wall Street types derisively call their clients “Muppets.”

108292 600 Syria Doggies, Turkey, Immigration and Cookie Monster! cartoons