ANKARA, Turkey – Turkish authorities on Wednesday made provocative statements against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on their cover page cartoon against French satirical magazine Charley Hebdo and accused the publication of sowing “seeds of hatred and hostility”.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s tensions against Islam may further increase.
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Leaders from the Muslim world added criticism to what they saw in the West as an attack on Islam, while France vowed not to back down from defending freedom of expression.
The cartoons that were used for the teacher’s death were the same images that were at the center of the deadly 2015 extremist attack on Charlie Hebdo’s staff.
Prophet Muhammad’s cartoons upset many in the Muslim world. But it was Erdogan who led the charge against France and questioned Macron’s mental state. France recalled its ambassador to Turkey for consultations, the first in French-Turkish diplomatic relations.
Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin wrote on Twitter, “We strongly condemn the publication about our president of the French magazine, which has no respect for faith, sacred and values.”
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Ankara’s chief prosecutor’s office began an investigation into Charlie Hebdo’s managers over the cartoons, Tukke’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported. Insulting the president is a crime in Turkey with a prison sentence of up to four years.
Erdogan himself stated that he had not seen the drawing and said nothing about the “dishonest” publication.
Erdogan told his ruling party MLAs in Parliament, “My grief and anger are not from a disgusting attack on my person, but from the fact (revelation) that the source of the imperialist attack on my beloved Prophet.”
He criticized the colonial past of France and other Europe nations, saying: “You are murderers!”
Tensions between France and Turkey have increased in recent months over Turkey’s actions in Syria, Libya and in the Caucasus mountain region of Nagorno-Karbakh.
The cartoon depicts Erdogan in his underwear holding a drink and picking up the skirt of a woman wearing an Islamic dress.
Turkish President Fiat Okte wrote on Twitter, “I condemn our President for the unethical publication of this obsolete French rag.”
Macron’s stance promoted anti-France demonstrations in Turkey and other Muslim countries, as well as calling for a boycott of French goods.
French government spokesman Gabriel Atal said the country would not back down in opposition to “instability attempts, intimidation attempts”.
“France never abandoned its principles and values, and especially freedom of expression and freedom of publication,” Etel said.
Referring to the 2015 attack on the Charlie Hebdo attack, he said that it was a hateful comment to journalists in recent years because of the bloodshed we saw in our country in recent years, which said that 12 people were killed and earlier There was a man in a series of extremist attacks on France.
In Egypt, the country’s top Muslim cleric called on the international community to adopt a universal law for anti-Muslim discrimination and criminalizing activities.
In a gathering celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayyib, the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, also described the murder of the French teacher in Paris as “an unpleasant and painful murder”.
He said that disrespecting Islam and Muslims has become a means of gathering votes. He called the “offensive cartoons” depicting Muhammad as “a hostile hostility against this great religion and its prophet.”
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said that offending the Prophet reflects “high values” that Muslims believe “we also have rights;” The right to hurt our feelings and not hurt our values, ”he said.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani also weighed the debate.
Rouhani said, “If Europe and France retreat from interference in Muslim affairs after rights, morality and culture,”.
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Millions gathered in front of the French embassy in Tehran, set the French flag on fire and chanted “Death to France”.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, meanwhile, wrote letters to the heads of Muslim states, expressing their concern over the Prophet Muhammad’s “ridicule and mockery” of Islam and disregard of the Quran in the Western world, especially in Europe.
Khan wrote that “covert and over-discrimination” against Muslims is widespread in Europe.
He said, “I believe that leadership in these countries is often due to the lack of understanding of the inner passion, love and devotion Muslims have for their Prophet.” He urged Muslim leaders to take the initiative of calling. The end of this cycle of hate and violence.
Around 300 members of Pakistan’s hardline Jamaat-e-Islami party rallied in the port city of Karachi to condemn Macron. The protesters wanted to march towards the French consulate but were stopped by police.
In the west coast biblical city of Bethlehem, Muslim and Christian leaders led a rare intercontinental demonstration to defend Macron of the cartoon’s publication. About 50 people, including dozens of local officials and dignitaries, gathered in front of the Church of the Nativity, where tradition says that Jesus was born.
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Greek Orthodox Archbishop Attalla Hanna said the gathering meant “sending a strong message from the Holy Land that we Palestinians, Christians and Muslims, reject hate speech and racist speeches and always call for brotherhood, peace and love.”