Turkey vows 'legal, diplomatic actions' over Charlie Hebdo cartoon of Erdogan


Demonstrators chant slogans during an anti-France protest in Istanbul, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has led the charge against his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, backing calls in the Islamic world to boycott French goods.

The president made the remarks while paying tribute to a French school teacher, Samuel Paty, who was beheaded by a Muslim radical on 16 October after he had shown caricatures of the prophet to his students.

During Tatar's first visit to Ankara since his victory, Erdogan said he would visit the Turkish-controlled northern third of Cyprus next month.

"Unfortunately, we are going through a period when hatred against Islam and Muslims and disrespect against our prophet is spreading like a cancer, particularly among leaders in Europe", Erdogan told his party's parliamentary group.

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It means that the lira has lost a quarter of its value since the end of 2019, which has coincided with a series of foreign policy issues for Turkey - most recently with Erdogan's war-of-words with France.

Erdogan sharply criticised Macron at the weekend, saying the French leader needed a mental health check, prompting France to recall its ambassador from Ankara. "To turn freedom of expression into hostility towards religion and belief can only be the product of a sick mentality". State media also reported that Turkish prosecutors had launched an investigation into Charlie Hebdo's executives. Insulting the president is a crime in Turkey punishable by up to four years in prison.

The drawing depicted Erdogan in a T-shirt and underpants, drinking what appears to be beer and lifting up the skirt of a woman wearing a hijab to reveal her naked bottom. "I condemn the immoral publication of the inexcusable French rag about our President". "I call on the moral and conscientious worldwide community to speak out against this disgrace".

However, Turkey still struggles to recruit fighters and send them to "Nagorno-Karabakh" battles, as a large part of the fighters refuse to fight alongside the Azerbaijani forces due to the "sectarian" factor in addition to the heavy human losses they suffered.

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