Turkey threatens legal action against Charlie Hebdo for Ergodan cartoon

Istanbul, Oct 28 (efe-epa).- The Turkish government on Wednesday threatened “legal and diplomatic” action over a caricature of Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The threat of legal action comes amid a growing backlash in the Muslim world over French president Emmanual Macron’s defense of the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. A teacher in France who showed his students the controversial depictions of the religious figure during a lesson on freedom of expression was brutally murdered this month.

Images of the prophet are considered deeply offensive by many Muslims and are widely seen as taboo in Islam.

The magazine on Wednesday featured a front cover with a caricature of Erdogan lifting the skirt of a woman wearing a traditional Muslim veil.

“We want to reassure our people that the necessary legal and diplomatic actions will be taken against that caricature,” a press release from the communications department of the Turkish presidency said.

“Our fight against these ill-intentioned, abject and injurious actions will continue with determination and common sense until the end,” it added.

The statement said that the caricature served only to stoke tensions and promote “racism and islamophobia.”

History teacher Samuel Paty was slain outside his school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, near Paris, on 16 October. The perpetrator, a Chechen-born man, was shot dead by police following the attack.

The caricatures of Islamic prophet were originally published by Charlie Hebdo five years ago and have been defended by French officials as a legitimate form of free expression in line with the secular nature of the republic.

Charlie Hebdo’s decision to publish depictions of Muhammad had previously caused protests in the Muslim world and in 2015 the magazine’s Parisian headquarters were targeted by two extremist Islamists who stormed the building and killed 12 people in a mass shooting.

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