A trial against Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Afrika’ and its editor-in-chief Sener Levent will begin on 7 May after the attorney general’s office filed a lawsuit against the newspaper and Levent.
The paper is accused of “insulting”, “humiliating” and “affronting” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when it published a cartoon on 8 December, 2017. The cartoon caption was ‘with a Greek eye’ and depicts the statue of a naked man with a Greek flag behind it, urinating on Erdogan’s head. The paper points out that the attorney general’s office has not filed a lawsuit against those who had climbed on the assembly building roof and the nine persons who attacked the newspaper’s offices [on 22 January].
Meanwhile, Ali Baturay, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris’ editor-in-chief wrote in his column on Tuesday that two police officers visited him a couple of months ago after a call he had received by a friend. The police questioned him about the work of an editor-in-chief and if an editor-in-chief is responsible for the caricatures published in a paper.
Baturay reports that afterwards he understood that the police would use this information in the trial against Afrika and Sener Levent. He notes also that on Monday, Sener Levent called and told him that he and Kibris’ caricaturist Utku Karsu were included in the list of witnesses against Afrika.
Baturay writes that the police did not tell them that they were visiting them with the aim of using them as prosecution witnesses in the Afrika case. “they deceived us, they tricked us”, Baturay writes, adding that says that he does not want to be a witness against Afrika and that if they told him of the purpose of the meeting, he would not have agreed to meet with the police.