On the occasion of the protest actions against the rigid style of government of the AKP government under Recip Tayyip Erdoğan in May and June of this year, there were a large number of politically motivated caricatures about the unrest, which are now to be presented to the interested public in a permanent exhibition in Didim.
The local judiciary saw this as an insult to the government and confiscated the cartoons on display.
As reported in the Turkish press, the public prosecutor's office in Didim on Turkey's south-west coast arranged for the cartoons to be collected and, at the same time, initiated preliminary investigations against the organizers on suspicion of insulting the government. Among the large number of politically motivated caricatures that were said to be insulting was a work by the cartoonist Murat Ahmet, who had previously received an award from the German-Turkish cartoon magazine "Don Quichotte".
The publisher of the magazine "Don Quichotte", Erdogan Karayel, who lives in Germany, then also severely criticized the actions of the judiciary on the basis of "caricatures". It is a shame for his country that the government would react so massively. Such a reaction to political cartoons is completely unthinkable in Germany.
Even if, as a local politician from the ruling AKP party was quoted as saying, one of the caricatures contained an insult to the prime minister, this is no reason to restrict the press and freedom of expression overall.
Especially in the depiction of the caricature there is the possibility of a peaceful confrontation with the daily happenings and happenings. This confrontation by collecting the caricatures and opening an investigation is far removed from any thought of freedom of the press and freedom of expression, which cannot be reconciled at all with the alleged democratization process in Turkey. Why not allow citizens to make up their own minds?
Does the responsible citizen need this kind of paternalism? Once again, the ruling AKP and its political organs are showing what they really mean when it comes to democratizing the country. Doesn't the confiscation of caricatures show just how right the anti-government demonstrations were in their statements against Erdoğan's authoritarian style of leadership? It is always the easiest way to accuse the opposition or foreign forces of inciting the population. How about taking a serious look at the depictions?
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