‘Afrika’ Cartoon Continues to Make Waves

The ripple effect of an offensive cartoon featuring Turkish President Erdogan republished by Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Afrika’ continues.

The Turkish embassy in North Nicosia said that the cartoon was an insult to Turkish President Erdogan and that it had filed a criminal complaint with the court. The cartoon created by a Greek cartoonist depicts a Greek statue urinating on President Erdogan. It was originally published in a Greek newspaper following the Turkish President’s visit to Greece.

Prime Minister Huseyin Ozgrugun condemned the cartoon saying that it did “not fit journalism or humanity”. He said that he would do whatever was legally necessary and would follow it up personally. The PM said: “Turkey is a country with diplomatic relations. It is my motherland. They even respect it those who do not call her motherland… But you do not do that to a President of a country that you have a relationship with it. On the other hand, Mr Tayyip is a man of state who loves our country and gives serious value to our country”.

Leader of People’s party (HP), Kudret Ozersay, also commenting on Erdogan’s caricature to Kibris TV, argued: “I think that that this caricature is kind of insulting….This caricature, which was published in Greece, was made to humiliate a person, on top of this, the person is the President of a state. (…) For this reason, a case should be opened in Greece for insult”. Furthermore, Ozersay said that since the case is in court, then the court will decide whether is an insult or not. He added that as it has been understood, there are two files; one is against the Turkish Minister Responsible for Cyprus Affairs (Recep Akdag) statements.

Under the headline “A Lynching Campaign”, Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Afrika’ newspaper which had republished the cartoon writes: “The dimensions of the lynch campaign that Ankara started against our newspaper are expanding”, adding that there are two campaigns, one is the election campaign and the other is “a lynching campaign”.

The paper also reports that Sener Elcil, general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ trade union (KTOS), in a written statement, said that the main aim of the attack is to silence and to suppress the Turkish Cypriot community, adding that the new attack was launched in order to silence ‘Afrika’ newspaper using the cartoon as an excuse. Elcil explained that Turkey’s officers, who are hiding behind the guarantors of the Republic of Cyprus and are trying to transform the north part of the island into their colony, are on a new attack in order to silence Afrika newspaper, which is the voice of the Turkish Cypriot community.

Elcil noted that Turkish Minister Akdag’s statements, threats and insults regarding this issue are clear proof that this incident cannot be explained away with a cartoon.

Kibris Postasi, Afrika

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