Dutch Newspaper Publishes Front Page Cartoon Mocking Erdogan After The Arrest Of Dutch Journalist

Cg3jHtBWIAAAf4iAs Western leaders like Angela Merkel cave into the authoritarian demands of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in crushing free speech, journalists and cartoonists are fighting back. After a Dutch journalist was arrested in Turkey this weekend for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the most-read newspaper in the Netherlands threw down the gauntlet and published a front-page editorial cartoon that shows Erdogan as an ape crushing Europe’s free speech. Since Erdogan demands the prosecution of journalists even outside of Turkey who insult him, the publication could force another confrontation with the aspiring dictator. In the meantime, the West (including the United States) continue to prop up Erdogan as he destroys secular government in Turkey, arrests journalists, and denies the most basic forms of free speech.

The cartoon, entitled “the long arm of Erdogan” was published by the populist daily De Telegraaf, has an ape with Erdogan’s face squashing a woman who appears to be Ebru Umar, the Dutch writer who was arrested in Turkey on Sunday. In the cartoon, the Turkish president is standing on a rock labeled “Apenrots” — a Dutch term meaning “monkey rocks” that is used to refer to the Dutch Foreign Ministry but can also refer to a place where one dominant individual holds power.

It will now to interesting to watch whether the government follows Merkel’s lead in profusely apologizing to Erdogan for the exercise of free speech and/or attempts to bring charges of some kind in the case. The problem for Western leaders who have been leading the rollback on free speech is that citizens are beginning to see the implications of the loss of this defining right for Western Civilization. We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in France (here and here and here and here and here and here) and England ( here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). Much of this trend is tied to the expansion of hate speech and non-discrimination laws. We have seen comedians targeted with such court orders under this expanding and worrisome trend. (here and here).

Erdogan (like Vladimir Putin) is the face of modern authoritarianism — promising prosperity in exchange for the dismantling of basic civil liberties. The question is whether the West will rally to the side of free speech in time to stop these leaders from returning the world to age of criminalized speech and censorship.

34 thoughts on “Dutch Newspaper Publishes Front Page Cartoon Mocking Erdogan After The Arrest Of Dutch Journalist”

  1. Dieter:

    So true about the bonobo! They are the only ones to copulate out of season.

    Removing a rival’s offspring is only one reason why chimps attack. They also engage in cannibalism, and eat the young. Plus, chimps engage in actual warfare over food, territory, and, as you’ve said, raging hormones. Anyone who thinks chimps are peaceful all the time needs to watch the Discovery Channel. Although they are also very intelligent, loving with their own families, and form intense social bonds.

    My favorite ape story is, in fact, the one where the silver back saved a little boy who had fallen into an exhibit. The other, younger males seemed angered by the incursion of the injured little boy. But the silver back ran them off, sat next to the child, and gently stroked his hair until bystanders jumped in too. Very sweet, because the others would have probably ripped him to pieces.

  2. Karen and Ken. For openers, most male Chimpanzee never get to copulate. Secondly, the propensity of the copulating males to kill children of other males has nothing to do with “warlike” but with their genetic programming to have only their DNA reproduced in offspring. That is why female Chimpanzees sometimes mate with several males so that no male knows who is the father of the baby Chimpanzee.
    And Karen, if you considered all apes in your statement you are woefully wrong because the Bonobo are hardly “warlike”. Their motto seems to be “make love not war”.

  3. De Telegraaf? Amazing turnaround. During the German occupation of the Netherlands De Telegraaf was the newspaper lapdog of the Nazi’s.

  4. @Karen S, April 26, 2016 at 6:43 pm
    “Au contrair. (sic) Jane Goodall documentaries are highly enlightening on our closest cousins. Chimps are, in fact, quite warlike. They do battle for territory or rank, form coalitions, and target the infants of their rivals…eating them. Chimp attacks on humans can also be quite brutal.”

    Thanks for pointing this out, Karen. It justifies the frequent depiction of George W. Bush as a chimpanzee based on his behavior, as well as on his appearance:

    “Associate United States Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson was the chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg Tribunal. In his report to the State Department, Justice Jackson wrote: ‘No political or economic situation can justify’ the crime of aggression. He also said: ‘If certain acts in violation of treaties are crimes they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us.’ ”

    “Bush’s war on Iraq is a war of aggression. ‘Aggression is the use of armed force by a state against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations, as set out in this definition,’ according to General Assembly Resolution 3314, passed in the wake of Vietnam. (Emphasis added)

    “The only two situations where the UN Charter permits the use of armed force against another state is in self-defense, or when authorized by the Security Council. Iraq had not invaded the U.S., or any other country, Iraq did not constitute an imminent threat to any country, and the Security Council never sanctioned Bush’s war. Bush and the officials in his administration are committing the crime of aggression. (Emphasis added)

    “Following the Holocaust, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg called the waging of aggressive war ‘essentially an evil thing . . . to initiate a war of aggression . . . is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.’

    “Bush’s aggressive war against the people of Iraq promises to kill many more American soldiers and untold numbers of Iraqis. Nuremberg prosecutor Justice Jackson labeled the crime of aggression ‘the greatest menace of our times.’ More than 50 years later, his words still ring true.”



  5. @Felipe:

    Condemning Erdogan for prosecuting the cartoonist is not in any way an endorsement of the cartoon itself, so there’s no “association” to disavow. As soon as Erdogan stops arresting his critics for “insulting” him, I’ll start caring whether this cartoonist is a jerk.

  6. Fudd ….this is mr turleys blog….he lets ppl post bc it helps his blog…(hence “what do you think?”). He also lets ppl post without having disqus censor them. Moreover he only seems to delete profanity. And seems to let issues be aired from many angles. For those of us “drunken sailors” prone to profane adverbs and adjectives…..we can always repost with similar meaning the same idea but without cussing. Thing is cussing is almost an art…and the visceral strength of certain ideas is lost without swearing.

  7. The flyboy should change his name to “What About.” He only opines w/ “What about[fill in the blank w/ some US atrocity].

  8. Also, there have been remarks excusing radical Islamic extremism because the religion is a mere 1,000 years old. It is compared with Christianity in the Dark Ages.

    I do assure you that if I began my own religion today, worshiping a purple cotton ball named “BOB”, I would not get a pass on any savagery because, to be fair, my religion should have 2,000 years to become humane.

    Christianity was practiced on the construct of the society of the time. Puritans of the 1600s are quite a bit different from Methodists of today. Many people peacefully practice Islam in the West, because they view the Sword Versus as figurative, not literal. Just like no Christians burn a bull on the Sabbath anymore, at least that I know of. But if savagery is culturally accepted, either individually or nationally, then Islam is practiced in an extremist, literal way. And then you get people throwing gays off of buildings while crowds cheer. Now, if we could only find some way to prevent the inexplicable radicalization of Western youth, we’d really be able to make some progress. I suppose a similar phenomenon would be when Charlie Manson managed to convince his “Family” cult that not only was getting a string of STDs super cool on his “ranch”, but so was murder. Most young people walked away from him, but some became convinced that savagery was culturally acceptable to them.

  9. “In all three examples (Erdogan, Obama, and Bush), it seems to me that it’s the innocent apes who suffer more by the comparison, inasmuch as none of the latter has ever indulged in the organized homicide of aggressive warfare.”

    Au contrair. Jane Goodall documentaries are highly enlightening on our closest cousins. Chimps are, in fact, quite warlike. They do battle for territory or rank, form coalitions, and target the infants of their rivals…eating them. Chimp attacks on humans can also be quite brutal. Jane Goodall once remarked that our aggressive nature is instinctive, but it’s our culture that controls and modifies that instinct.

  10. “What Is Really Happening to Turkish Media?
    “By Mustafa Akyol

    “The crackdown on Turkey’s media freedom has become notorious across the globe. Yet the exact mechanisms behind this problem, and the political purposes they serve, are not always apparent. This essay offers a snapshot of what is happening to the Turkish media and what it means for the future of Turkish democracy.

    “Here are the basics: Over the past 10 years, dozens of Turkish journalists have been jailed for months or sometimes years. (Emphasis added) Meanwhile, hundreds of others have been pushed out of their jobs for reasons other than the normal dynamics of journalism. And despite their diverse ideological backgrounds, all of these unlucky journalists had one simple common trait: They were critical of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his political movement led by the incumbent Justice and Development Party, or AKP.”

  11. @Observant Duck, April 26, 2016 at 2:18 pm
    “KenRogers: You will not observe censorship unless you observe the absence of commentors who get kicked off the blog and can not come back.”

    How do you know that one or more commenters were “kicked off the blog,” rather than their deciding to absent themselves for reasons of their own?

    @vine, April 26, 2016 at 2:54 pm
    “Bravo, Observant Duck!

    “Not only that, plenty of commenters here will tar and feather certain conservatives, liberal intolernce (sic) for opposing views on par with Erdogan’s.”

    I have no desire to tar and feather you, even if that were possible on a blog (it isn’t), but I do want to point out that your equating what commenters on a blog can do and have done, with what someone like Erdogan can do and has done to his critics is more than a little silly.

    As a matter of fact, it’s really silly.

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