An İstanbul court has sentenced cartoonist Seyfi Şahin to one year, 15 days in prison for “insulting sacred values” in a cartoon featuring the biblical prophet Moses.
The ruling was made by the Küçükçekmece 2nd Penal Court of First Instance on Thursday.
In the cartoon, Moses “proudly” talks about how he held out his staff and the Red Sea was parted by God, while people around him complain about listening to “the same story over and over again.”
During the final hearing of his trial, the cartoonist said he did not draw the cartoon with the purpose of insult and that he offered an apology to the Jewish community after publication of the cartoon.
Şahin said some members of the Jewish community told him there are similar and even worse cartoons are published in Israel about Moses.
“If there is a mistake, it is not one made deliberately,” he added.
The court did not suspend the jail sentence it gave to Şahin on the grounds that he had committed a similar crime in the past and that there was no indication that he would not commit the same crime again.
Gırgır was closed down in February 2017 after it published the controversial cartoon by Şahin in its last edition.