Busy times for weekly comic magazine Leman. In court, that is. Last week finally an old case against them came to an end. The High Court did not convict Leman, for the same reason as a lower court last year rejected Erdogan’s complaint regarding a cover on which Erdogan was shown as a tick: the cartoon was meant as criticism and can not be seen as an attack on Erdogan’s personal rights. Besides that, says the Court, Erdogan is a political figure and he has to endure criticism, however harsh it may be. But tomorrow Leman’s editor in chief Zafer Aknar has to appear in court again, this time for a cover for which Leman used some Photoshop tricks to show Erdogan putting up a certain finger. Erdogan wants 20,000 lira compensation because the picture is ‘fake and insulting’. Erdogan has never won any of the many cases he filed against Leman or other comic weeklies, like Penguin. Nevertheless he still keeps suing them. In an interview last year, Zafer Aknar told me that it is never his intention to provoke court cases, but that he usually feels confident that Leman will not be convicted. “And when we are acquitted, the case has at least contributed to extending freedom of expression.” Let’s see if tomorrow this freedom will be extended a little bit further.
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Podiumbouwer Maaike van Kempen made this website.