The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan graced the front page of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday after he lodged insulting comments on the French counterpart and led the call on boycotting France.
The French magazine, which became the center of a monumental gaffe between the French state and the Muslim world over a caricature of Prophet Mohammad, is known for its quirky depiction of public figures.
In the Wednesday edition, released online on Tuesday, Erdogan was shown in a private setting, sitting on a chair with a can of beer in hand. He wears a t-shirt and underpants and lifts the hijab of a woman, revealing her buttocks.
“Erdogan – he’s a lot of fun in private,” a caption read, and a thought-bubble said “ouch The Prophet.”
The retaliation from Charlie Hebdo comes after Turkey‘s Erdogan said the French President Macron needs ‘mental checkup’ for his vows to defend Islamic radicalism and national freedom of expression through cartoons.
Soon following the publication, Erdogan’s office reacted to the satire and accused the publication of provoking ‘cultural racism’ and hatred.
“French President Macron’s anti-Muslim agenda is bearing fruit! Charlie Hebdo just published a series of so-called cartoons full of despicable images purportedly of our President,” Erdogan’s top press aide, Fahrettin Altun, tweeted.
“What else can be said to a head of state who does not understand freedom of belief and who behaves in this way to millions of people living in his country who are members of a different faith. First of all, have mental checks,” Erdogan said in Ankara taking a jib at Macron, shortly after the beheading incident.
The Paris office of the same satirical newspaper became the hotbed of a deadly Jihadist attack in France in 2015, over the same caricatures of Prophet Mohammad, killing at least 12 employees of the magazine.
Depicting the Prophet in images is considered blasphemous in Islam, and caricatures are considered freedom to expression that is deeply entwined in France’s national identity.
Turkey’s relationship with France further deteriorated after Erdogan called on the Turks to boycott the French goods, joining a host of other Muslim countries already boycotting bandwagon.
The recent row between France and the Muslim world has its roots from Macron’s sensational claim that Islam is a religion in crisis and is “plagued by radical temptations and by a yearning for a reinvented jihad which is the destruction of the other”.
The comments started an anti-France stance which was only bolstered by the Samuel Patty killing in broad daylight, and after France retaliated by flashing the cartoons of Prophet Mohammad on buildings.
The EU has been supporting France and economists opine that the current boycott movement is a rather local affair, because it will be in the interest of the protesting nations to not churn out trace and economic sanctions from the EU, which is a major trading partner.
French President Emmanuel Macron is not immune to cartoons, it turns out. A hard-line Iranian magazine caricatured the French President as a devil which is one of the many caricatures of Macron.