This text was originally published by our colleagues from Cartoonists Rights Network International.
Cartoonist Must Kart’s trial on charges pertaining to terrorism commenced in Istanbul yesterday. Like all the co-accused from Cumhuriyet newspaper he read a prepared statement in his own defence. According to those there to hear them, Musa’s wry comments were greeted with laughter in the public gallery. He also showed some of his cartoons as evidence of his impartiality, something long-time readers of CRNI’s coverage will recognise.
We present his words in full below. In his jokes at the expense of the prosecutors and their witnesses as well as his allusions to the rhetorical stylings of President Erdoğan and spirited acclamations on cartooning as a vital means of communication it is clear that he is unbowed despite the ordeal he and his colleagues have suffered, recently declared a violation of international law.
Read more here.
Update 19/02/19: Turkish justice confirms the firm prison sentences against the employees of the newspaper Cumhuriyet.
Accused of “association with a terrorist organization”, members of the editorial staff of the newspaper Cumhuriyet, a rare media organization critical of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government, appealed against the conviction at first instance.
The journalists, including press cartoonist Musa Kart, winner of the Cartooning for Peace International Press Cartoon Award in 2018, were sentenced to serve sentences of 2 to 8 years.
Cartooning for Peace supports Musa Kart and his former colleagues, and condemns this court decision as a further blow to freedom of expression.