Turkish prosecutors are preparing to file lawsuits against 68 lawmakers with Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by sharing a cartoon on Twitter, independent news site T24 reported.
The cartoon depicting Turkey’s strongman as various animals to show support for four university students who were arrested earlier this year for carrying it as a placard at their graduation ceremony, has previously landed CHP chair Kemal Kılıcdaroglu in hot water, with Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office launching an investigation into the CHP leader in July after he shared the image on social media, according to Ahvalnews.
Eleştiriye ve mizaha tahammül edeceksin, etmelisin! Hapse atarak eleştirinin ve mizahın önüne geçemezsin. pic.twitter.com/D30J2cHsa6— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) July 17, 2018
Students at Ankara’s Middle East Technical University’s (ODTÜ) graduation ceremony on July 6, carried the placard depicting the Turkish president as various animals, including an elephant, snake and monkey.
The image was originally published as a cartoon by Turkey’s famous satire magazine, Penguen, in 2006. The Turkish president sued the magazine; however, the cartoonists was acquitted on the grounds of free speech.
“68 of the total 70 pending lawsuits are related to CHP members, and of those 90 percent have to do with the Erdogan cartoon,’’ CHP Ankara deputy Murat Emir told T24.
Insulting the president is subject to criminal charges under Turkish law with Erdogan’s lawyers having filed more than 1,800 cases against people, including school children and celebrities.
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