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

March 29, 2011

US Denies Help To Turkish Prosecutor Over Cartoons

The Istanbul-based publication Today's Zaman, the younger of Turkey's two English-language publications, has an article up today that the prosecutor's office in Trabzon was denied help by the US Department of Justice in gaining the IP numbers to a g-mail address used to distribute cartoons that depicted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a pig. The cartoons were distributed around Karadeniz Technical University in 2010. The appropriate US DOJ sub-office, the Office Of International Affairs, cited freedom of expression concerns over a relationship between the two countries in terms of extraditing suspected criminals and other matters of legal assistance.

Criticism of the Prime Minister in cartoon form, particularly his depiction in animal form, has been a concern of the nation's prosecutors for years now, with the approval of the politicians involved including Erdogan. Those prosecutions have become a matter of some concern between Turkey and various Western countries that more wholly support free expression, including such satirical efforts.
posted 7:00 am PST | Permalink

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