Al-Monitor: Mr. Latuff, in Turkey you are known as the Latin American or Brazilian artist who draws Erdogan. Members of the opposition — left and right wing — cherish your work, whereas pro-government sections detest it. Although you are popular in Turkey, many people do not know who you are and why you are interested in Turkey. Any personal information you may want to share with the [Al-Monitor] readers?
Latuff: My personal life does not tell your readers much. The interest I have for Turkey is the same interest I have for other countries. I am a political cartoonist, and international affairs is my specialty. The difference is that I have been to Turkey, as well as Palestine, and this is what gives me a more personal approach.
Al-Monitor: What are some of the reactions you have received from Turkey, via social media and other means? Have you visited Turkey? I recall reading you are banned from visiting Israel. Are there other countries in the region that you are banned from? Also, access to your blog and cartoons is banned in Turkey.
Latuff: "This ban is a clear sign that Turkey is everything but a democracy. If you punish artists for mocking politicians, then definitely you do not have a democracy. I was entirely opposed to the ridiculous depictions by Charlie Hebdo of the Prophet Muhammad, but I have no problems criticizing or even making fun of opportunistic politicians like Sultan Erdogan."