The union of Turkish Cypriot journalists Basin Sen has written to international organisations to inform them of a terror campaign unleashed against Afrika daily newspaper over an ‘insulting’ cartoon it published of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
In a letter to European and international journalist organisations and Harlem Desir, the representative on freedom of the media at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the union said freedom of thought and expression in the northern part of the island was being disregarded.
“A number of associations and organisations, who do not have Cypriots among them, threatened the newspaper and the authors and demanded it stopped being published,” the letter said.
Afrika found itself in hot water after publishing the cartoon, which originally appeared in a Greek newspaper, last Thursday, during the Turkish president’s official visit to Athens last week.
Afrika posted the cartoon under the title “Through Greek eyes”.
The cartoon depicted a Greek statue urinating on Erdogan with a Greek flag in the background.
Basin Sen said Recep Akdag, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister, responsible for Cyprus, openly threatened Afrika and its staff, saying “he would personally deal with the issue in order to punish the newspaper and the authors.”
“This attitude… clearly shows who is in control of the northern part of Cyprus. The aim here is to pressure journalists in Cyprus too and put press freedom behind bars as in Turkey,” Basin Sen said.