Turkey's Erdogan is an ape crushing free speech in a cartoon

In the editorial cartoon published earlier this week by the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan assumes the body of an ape who crushes Europe's free speech.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan AFP

Under Erdogan's weight are a piece of paper, a broken pen and a hopeless-looking woman — The Washington Post speculates that she is Ebru Umar, a Dutch writer with a Turkish background. The President is perched atop a rock inscribed with the words 'Apenrots', which means 'monkey rocks' in Dutch. Googling the term would give you better enriched visuals of the cartoon.

The same Ebru Umar was arrested in Turkey last weekend for insulting Erdogan: Umar, a columnist with Metro, was detained by the authorities in the country for describing the President as a 'dictator', according to the DailyMail.

Umar says she was shown no mercy as she was "hauled out of her bed late Saturday at her home in Kusadasi, a resort town in western Turkey," reports AFP. It further adds saying that Umar spent the night at the police station.

Even as she was asked to remain in the country, Umar continued to (and still does) tweet and retweet messages from her supporters.

This detention, many believe, only adds to the growing list of crackdown on free speech in Turkey, reports The Independent. The website adds that "last week, the Turkish Consulate in Rotterdam came under fire after appearing to send an email that called for Turkish organizations in the Netherlands to report insults against Erdogan to it."

But what's funny is this: According to The Atlantic, Erdogan has himself been previously imprisoned for expressing his views in 1997, when he was the mayor of Istanbul. Does he perhaps indicate that only a certain few can have the privilege of speech?

(With inputs from AFP)

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Updated Date: Apr 27, 2016 19:02:13 IST

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