Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted strongly after a French satirical magazine published a caricature showing him lifting a woman's burqa to expose her naked backside and drinking beer. The magazine published the cartoon after Erdogan led the calls to boycott French products by Muslim-majority countries over French President Emmanuel Macron's views on Islam's Prophet Muhammad cartoons.
On Wednesday, Charlie Hebdo's cartoon showed Erdogan wearing a T-shirt and underwear, holding a beer can as he lifted up a woman's burqa revealing her naked backside. In a speech bubble attributed to Erdogan, the cartoon's headline stated: "Erdogan: In private, he is very funny!"
Erdogan's office denounced the Charlie Hebdo cartoon calling it "disgusting" and vowed to take "legal and diplomatic action." Fahrettin Altun, Turkey's communications director, accused the weekly magazine of spreading "cultural racism and hatred."
"These kinds of irresponsible and senseless attacks on our culture will only breed racism and discrimination. We call on all sensible European friends to fight back against this kind of primitive cultural racism, intellectual barrenness, and uncivilized discourse," Altun said on Twitter.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay took to Twitter to condemn the cartoon calling Charlie Hebdo an "immoral French rag." "You cannot deceive anyone by hiding behind freedom of opinion," Oktay tweeted.
Charlie Hebdo published the cartoon after Erdogan called for a boycott of French goods — a move that was supported by Muslim countries — after Macron refused to denounce the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad. The French President's comments came after Samuel Paty, a history teacher, was beheaded by a radical Islamist teen earlier this month after he showed the Prophet's cartoons in his class. Macron said France "will not give up cartoons" and that the "Islamists want our future."
Macron's comments were criticized in the Muslim world with countries such as Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Erdogan also suggested that the French president needed "mental check."
Macron has been a vocal critic of radical Islam in France. He also chalked out plans to remove homegrown extremism. On Oct. 2, the president said Islam was "a crisis all over the world."