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October 23, 2014


Musa Kart Acquitted In Case Brought By Recep Erdoğan

imageThe cartoonist Musa Kart, for years at the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet was acquitted earlier today of charges brought against him by current Turkish President Recep Erdoğan.

The case was heard in Istanbul's 2nd Criminal Court Of First Instance. The charges, involving insult through publication and slander, asked for a jail sentence just short of ten years. They were at one point earlier than this dropped by a prosecutor's office before that decision was appealed by lawyers representing Erdoğan.

I've seen stories that indicate the cartoon in question -- about a graft investigation that came to light in late 2013 -- appeared in early 2014, but also one or two things that say it appeared closer to the event, in 2013. Either way, Erdoğan would have been prime minister when the cartoons appeared. The charges were filed in February, which may be part of the confusion.

Kart spoke up in court to note that he was facing charges after all of the corruption charges that instigated the cartoon had been dropped, something that struck him and I imagine a significant chunk of people paying attention around the world as absurd. The concept of sitting politicians filing civil and driving criminal charges against satirists is an unfortunate world trend going back more than a decade; Musa Kart faced significant charges in 2006 and in 2008.
 
posted 12:25 am PST | Permalink
 

 
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