Turkey slammed French weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo on Tuesday for publishing “loathsome so-called caricatures” purportedly of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“Charlie Hebdo just published a series of so-called cartoons full of despicable images purportedly of our President. We condemn this most disgusting effort by this publication to spread its cultural racism and hatred,” Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter.
“The so-called caricatures are loathsome and they are devoid of any real sense of human decency. It’s clearly the product of a xenophobic, Islamophobic and intolerant cultural environment the French leadership seems to want for their country,” Altun said.
While underscoring Turkey’s position of being opposed to any violence and acts of terrorism against civilians, he said: “We will not remain silent in the face of disgusting attacks on our culture and religion no matter where it comes from.”
“The racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic incitements will not be able to provoke us into reciprocating in kind. We refuse to bow down to your intimidation and provocations based on your perceived victimhood,” he added.
“We call on all sensible European friends to fight back against this kind of primitive cultural racism, intellectual barrenness and uncivilized discourse.”
Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın on Tuesday said Charlie Hebdo has no respect for any religion or value.
“These actions only reveal their own immorality,” Kalın said on his Twitter account, calling on anyone “who is sensible” to condemn this “disgusting” publishing.
Charlie Hebdo, a left-wing French satirical magazine infamous for publishing anti-Islamic caricatures has drawn widespread anger and outrage across the Muslim world.
Earlier this year, it republished cartoons insulting Islam and Prophet Muhammad. The caricatures were first published in 2006 by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, sparking a wave of protests.
On Wednesday, Turkish prosecutors also launched a probe against Charlie Hebdo for defamatory “cartoons” depicting Erdoğan.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar condemned the move Wednesday as well, pointing out that Charlie Hebdo is a magazine that systematically targets Islam.
Akar said by acting this way, the magazine overlooked the founding principles of the EU as well.
“This is the satirical version of terrorism,” Akar highlighted, adding that the group that suffers the most from such Islamophobic actions is the Muslims in France who make up a large part of the country’s population.