Addressing a congress of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the Istanbul district of Sile on Sunday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the cartoons had exceeded the limits of freedom of expression. "Freedom must have a limit," Erdogan said. "No one has unlimited freedom in his/her actions." However, the Prime Minister also criticised the violent demonstrations that were breaking out across the Muslim world in response to the publications of the cartoons. "Should we burn and destroy things? Setting fire to embassies and destroying them is wrong. The solution lies in diplomacy, not in guns," the Prime Minister said. "That is what those who seek a clash of civilisations want."
Cartoon provokes protests in Istanbul
There were protests against the publishing of the cartoons outside the Danish consulate in Istanbul and in other cities throughout Turkey. A newspaper in Denmark was the first to print the cartoons. Security around Danish diplomatic missions in Turkey has been increased after demonstrations around the world over the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. Turkish police stopped a crowd numbering up to 1000, angered by the publishing of insulting cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, from conducting a protest outside the Danish consulate in Istanbul Sunday.
However, police did allow three members of the group, from a far right organisation, to pass through the security cordon surrounding the consulate to lay a black wreath outside the building. The demonstrators later burned a Danish flag and threw eggs at police. Elsewhere in Istanbul, protestors burned an effigy of Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and carried banners condemning the publication of the cartoons, originally printed in a Danish newspaper and later carried by other European and international publications.