ANKARA 

Turkey’s president on Wednesday filed a criminal complaint against French magazine Charlie Hebdo for insulting him.

Through his lawyers, Recep Tayyip Erdogan filed the complaint over the magazine publishing “loathsome so-called cartoons” purportedly of him.

In a criminal complaint submitted to prosecutors in the capital Ankara, lawyer Huseyin Aydin singled out the magazine’s management and cartoonist, saying the offensive content amounted to “criminal libel” that is “not covered by freedom of expression.”

Earlier today Ankara prosecutors also launched a criminal probe into Charlie Hebdo’s management for insulting the president, an offense under Turkish law.

Turkish officials have denounced the magazine for publishing the deeply offensive content on Tuesday.

Speaking at his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s parliamentary group meeting, Erdogan said he would not even look at the magazine, and added: “We are in a period when hostility to Islam, Muslims, disrespect for the Prophet [Muhammad], is spreading like cancer in Europe, especially among leaders.”

Erdogan has also criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for explicitly defending the cartoons as well as sowing an atmosphere of Islamophobia and persecution of Muslims.

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