Turkish cartoonists sentenced to jail for insulting Erdogan

Turkish cartoonists Bahadir Baruter and Ozer Aydogan, from the Turkish satirical magazine Penguen, have been found guilty of insulting Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a cartoon on the cover of the magazine’s August issue. The court sentenced both cartoonists to 11 months and 20 days in prison on March 24. That sentence was subsequently commuted to a fine of 7,000 Liras (2,500 euros) each. The cartoon depicted newly elected Erdogan arriving at his presidential palace and saying: “What a bland celebration. We could have at least sacrificed a journalist.” The prosecutor alleged that the cartoon was insulting in that one…

US Congress members urge Kerry to press Turkey on media freedom

A number of members of the US Congress have signed a joint letter urging the Secretary of State John Kerry to press the Turkish government to stop intimidating journalists and media in the country. In a letter to Kerry (Signatures and Letter), 89 members of Congress said that the Turkish government poses a threat to democracy because it “intimidates, arrests and smothers voices opposed to the governments”. Stressing that Turkey is a strategic ally to the US in the Middle East and a key member of NATO, congress members expressed hope to see the Turkish government “abandon this course of intimidation and…