Cartoonists and Turkish President Erdogan

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan doesn’t seem to have much of a sense of humor.  The New York Times has a story about how the Turkish president is trying to limit how he is depicted in drawings by arresting cartoonists and charging them with libel and insulting government officials (which is apparently against the law in Turkey).  The Cartoonists Rights Network International also writes about it here.

My Washington Post cartoon about President Erdogan arresting a 16-year-old because the teenager criticized him received quite a bit of traffic on twitter among Turkish readers. It also ended up on the front page of Cumhuriyet, the oldest Turkish daily newspaper.


A very disturbing development…

Yesterday as I was finishing up a deadline, I noticed this at the Guardian website. The partner of  Glenn Greenwald (one of the journalists who broke the Snowden/NSA story) was detained for 9 hours at London’s Heathrow airport.  As an American and an editorial cartoonist, this is a very disturbing development.  I remember right after 9/11 how ordinary people were detained for weeks without access to legal counsel, all in the name of preventing terrorism threats.

This reinforces one of my biggest fears- that people who criticize the government will be targeted.  Every time I’m interviewed  I always talk about how we American cartoonists never have to face the types of threats other cartoonists around the world do because we have the First Amendment to protect us.  This is the first time I truly feel the situation has changed.

Here’s Glenn’s response and Andrew Sullivan’s piece challenging PM Cameron.  Be sure to read the last line; the unfortunate reality is that it’s a question which needs to be asked.121201ScarletLetter

Rep. Peter King calls for prosecuting Glenn Greenwald

With the latest developments on Syria and red lines, you might have missed a member of Congress calling for a reporter to be prosecuted for doing his job.  Appearing on CNN, Rep. Peter King said that journalists who reported the leaks of the NSA’s surveillance program should be prosecuted.  Later on Fox News he singled out the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, claiming that Greenwald would release the names of CIA operatives.  Greg Sargent has Greenwald’s response here.RepPeterKing