Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

October 21, 2014

Musa Kart Facing More Legal Trouble In Turkey For The Act Of Making An Uncomplimentary Caricature


All positive thoughts to Musa Kart, facing criminal prosecution for a caricature he made of world political powerhouse Recep Erdogan earlier this year. I think the linked-to article lays out the timeline of events in this immediate case very well. The offending cartoon was published on February 1 in Cumhuriyet, and can be seen above. It references a significant, well-known corruption case.

This is part of a couple of extremely uncomfortable practices in several countries: the criminal prosecution of caricature, and cases being brought by either sitting politicans or politicians just out of office in a way that casts some doubt on the fairness of those hearings. My memor is that Kart faced major prosecutions in 2006 and 2008, but I think by the 2006 event he was already a beloved figure for those to whom freedom of the press is an important, big deal. What's missing is that time period's political context for that kind of protest, where it was once thought that Turkey's desire to join the European Economic Union would force them to more closely adhere to member country values regarding free speech. I don't think that's a concern the way it used to be.

The trial apparently starts tomorrow. Kart points out I think correctly the absurdity that none of the politicians involved in the circumstance that led to the cartoon are being prosecuted, but he is.
posted 5:50 pm PST | Permalink

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