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    English daily reports Erdogan's cartoon case

    Hürriyet Haber
    04.03.2005 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme: 04.03.2005 - 00:01

    The Independent, an English daily published an article yesterday on the subject of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's recent law suits in Turkey over a political cartoon. Erdoğan sued the cartoonist and the newspaper, Cumhurriyet, over a political cartoon that depicted him as a cat tied up a ball of yarn. The article reads: “Mr Erdogan, once imprisoned for reciting a poem that was deemed to be anti-state, took Musa Kart and his newspaper, Cumhuriyet, to court after he was portrayed as a cat entangled in a ball of wool. He also launched a lawsuit against a small, local newspaper, Sakarya, which reprinted the cartoon. The result has been an untimely debate about freedom of expression in Turkey, just as Mr Erdogan is desperately trying to accelerate the timetable of the country's accession to the EU. A court in Ankara last week found Kart guilty of 'publicly humiliating the Prime Minister' and fined him 5,000 YTL (£2,000). Another court, however, threw out the case against Sakarya - and had a sharp word of advice for Mr Erdogan. 'People who are under public light are forced to endure criticism in the same way that they endure applause,' Judge Mithat Ali Kabaali said in his ruling. 'A prime minister who was forced to serve a long jail term for reciting a poem should show more tolerance to these kinds of criticisms.' A former legislator, Aydin Menderes, was quoted in Sabah newspaper as saying that Mr Erdogan should 'remember how harshly he criticised previous governments'. Mr Menderes, the son of the late premier Adnan Menderes, added that his father was once depicted as a belly dancer and he did not sue. The newspaper Hurriyet on Saturday ran the headline: 'A person who served time because of a poem should not do this.' In a show of defiance and solidarity with Kart, the weekly satirical magazine Penguen printed drawings of Mr Erdogan's head attached to a variety of animal bodies on its cover.”  
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