President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that he didn't see the cartoon in French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo about him, as Turkish authorities launched a probe into it for "insulting the president."
In his speech in parliament to ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members on Oct. 28, Erdoğan said that "he heard" that the magazine "targeted me on its cover."
"I didn't look at the cartoon even to see what they did because I don't give credit to this immoral publication," Erdoğan said.
"I don't need to say anything about these dishonorable individuals who insulted my dear prophet," he added, referring to Charlie Hebdo's Prophet Mohammad cartoons.
The recent row on Prophet Mohammad cartoons began after history teacher Samuel Paty showed his students some caricatures that had been published by Charlie Hebdo in 2015.
After community complaints about this lesson, Paty was killed and beheaded outside his school by an 18-year-old Chechen extremist.Turkish gov't in fury over Charlie Hebdo's Erdoğan cartoon
The cartoons in question have inspired many Islamist attacks, including the slaughter of 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo offices in 2015.
Depictions of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad are offensive to many Muslims. It is not explicitly forbidden by the Quran, but some accounts forbid Muslims from depicting him.
On Oct. 27, Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon of Erdoğan, which showed him sitting in a white T-shirt and underpants, holding a canned drink along with a woman wearing an Islamic hijab.
“Oh, the prophet!” the cartoon Erdoğan exclaims. Charlie Hebdo captioned the caricature: “Erdoğan: In private, he’s very funny.”
Erdogan : dans le privé, il est très drôle !— Charlie Hebdo (@Charlie_Hebdo_) October 27, 2020
? Laïcité : zoom sur le CCIF par @LaureDaussy
? Voyage dans la crackosphère parisienne par @AntonioFischet8 et Foolz
? Reportage à Lunéville et son théâtre par Juin
➡ Disponible demain ! pic.twitter.com/jxXqKrvXbK
The Turkish government was quick in its response to the cartoon, with one official going as far as to call the magazine "sons of bitches."
On Oct. 28, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office launched a probe into Charlie Hebdo's executives over "insulting the president."
Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül told reporters in Ankara that Turkish authorities had taken all necessary initiatives with the relevant authorities.
"Our people should have no doubt that all necessary legal and diplomatic steps will be taken against the caricature in question," Turkey's Communications Directorate said.
"Our battle against these rude, ill-intentioned and insulting steps will continue until the end with reason but determination," it said in a statement.Turkey's deputy culture minister calls Charlie Hebdo 'bastards, sons of bitches' after Erdoğan cartoon