The Greek government condemned a Greek newspaper’s offensive language against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying “offensive language is contrary to our values.”
“Free speech and independence of the press are cherished by the Greek people and protected in our Constitution. This however, does not negate the responsibility to respect a foreign leader,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas said in a comment published on his official Twitter account.
On Friday, Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Greece’s ambassador to the country to lodge a formal complaint.
The controversial headline – telling “Mr. Erdogan” to “f**k off” in Turkish, with the insult translated into English with an asterisk below – appeared in Friday’s issue of the Dimokratia newspaper.
The headline also prompted a reaction from the Greek Foreign Ministry, which said in an announcement that freedom of the press “does not negate the obligation to refrain from insulting the personality of any individual, particularly a foreign leader.”