Charlie Hebdo lambasted for mocking Turkey, Syria earthquake in satirical cartoon

Charlie Hebdo blasted for mocking victims of the Turkey-Syria earthquake in satirical cartoon

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French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s latest cartoon mocking victims of the Turkey-Syria earthquake in an insensitive cartoon has been met with global condemnation.

The magazine, known for its racist and insensitive satirical cartoons, shared its “Cartoon of the Day” on Twitter just hours after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred on Monday.

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The cartoon showed damaged buildings, a toppled car and hills of debris and stated: “Earthquake in Turkey. [Didn’t] even need to send tanks.”

The earthquake’s death toll rose to more than 11,000 on Wednesday and is expected to increase as rescuers work to scour for survivors who may be buried underneath collapsed buildings.

The publication of these cartoons elicited strong reactions on social media, with many people, including public figures, condemning the magazine’s actions.

Turkey’s presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, took to Twitter to express his condemnation, stating “Modern barbarians! Drown in your anger and hatred.”

Meanwhile, Abdurrahim Boynukalin, a Turkish politician and London representative of the AK Party, commented that “they show no limits in their pursuit of controversy.”

Twitter user @QasimRashid said: “7100+ people, mostly Muslims, are dead in this 500 year earthquake in Turkey and Syria, and the celebratory response from Charlie Hebdo is “Not even a need to send tanks!” This disgusting white supremacist rag celebrates the mass death of Muslims. French racism on full display.”

“Hatred & Islamophobia at its peak when a natural disaster draws this kind of reaction from Charlie Hebdo! Sickening to the core. Waiting to hear voices of condemnation from Europe,” another user, @ShireenMazari1 tweeted.

“It’s really disgusting to make fun of the suffering of others & far from the ethics of journalism, assuming it sticks to it & i doubt it,” Twitter user @Abdulla_Alamadi said.

A 2018 study entitled “Examination of Islamophobia in the Case of Cartoons Shared in Charlie Hebdo Magazine Twitter Account” analyzed the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo magazine on their Twitter account between August 13, 2009 and October 15, 2018. The results showed that 38 out of 6,123 tweets were anti-Muslim in nature and depicted Islam as a religion associated with deviance and terrorism.

The magazine has been the center of controversy for its publication of cartoons and articles that many people consider to be offensive and disrespectful, particularly towards religious groups. Some of their controversial depictions included of the Prophet Mohammed, dead child migrants, virus victims, popes, Jewish leaders, and in 2020, a cartoon insulting Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Their publishing of the offensive Prophet Mohammed cartoon in 2015 led to a terrorist attack on its offices in Paris, resulting in the deaths of 12 people.

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