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Germany: Merkel grants Turkish request to prosecute comic over Erdogan insult

Merkel screwed by Erdogan

Text by FRANCE 24
Latest update : 2016-04-15

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that Germany had accepted a request from Turkey to seek prosecution of a German comedian who read out a crude poem about Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on German television.

Erdogan had demanded that Germany press charges against comedian Jan Boehmermann after he mocked the Turkish leader in a show on German public broadcaster ZDF on March 31, suggesting that he hits girls, watches child pornography and engages in bestiality.

It is illegal under German criminal code to insult a foreign leader, but the law leaves it to the government to decide whether to authorise prosecutors to pursue such cases.

This has put Merkel an awkward position. The driving force behind a controversial European Union-Turkey migrant deal, she has already come under fire for ignoring human rights and press freedom violations in Turkey in an effort to secure its cooperation.

“There were different opinions between the coalition partners – the conservatives and the SPD [Social Democrats],” Merkel told reporters at the Chancellery in Berlin.

”The outcome is that the German government will give the authorisation in the current case,” she added, stressing that this was not a decision about the merits of the prosecution’s case against Boehmermann.

Merkel’s announcement sparked sharp criticism from the SPD, her centre-left coalition partner, which was opposed to Turkey’s request.

“This was the wrong decision in my view,” said Thomas Oppermann, leader of the SPD in parliament. “Prosecution of satire due to ‘lèse-majesté’ does not fit with modern democracy.”

Anton Hofreiter, parliamentary leader of the opposition Greens, said Merkel must now “live with the accusation that the deal with Turkey is more important to her than defending freedom of the press”.

Sahra Wagenknecht of the far-left Linke accused Merkel of kowtowing to the “Turkish despot” Erdogan.

‘Merkel is walking quite a difficult diplomatic tightrope’

‘Wrong signal’

Boehmermann, an impish-looking 35-year-old, is known for pushing the boundaries of satire. Last year he claimed to have manipulated a video of Greece’s then-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis in which he is shown giving the middle finger – known as the “Stinkefinger” in German – to Berlin for its tough stance in the debt crisis. The video infuriated German politicians.

The cult comedian made clear before reciting the poem about Erdogan that he was intentionally going beyond what German law allowed.

ZDF has since removed a video of the poem from its website. But Boehmermann has received backing from prominent German artists and a poll for Focus magazine showed 82 percent viewed the poem as defensible.

He is reportedly under police protection and cancelled his last show on ZDF.

In giving her statement, Merkel pressed Turkey – a candidate country for European Union membership – to uphold the values of freedom of expression, the press and art.

She justified the decision to accept the Turkish request by pointing to the close and friendly relationship Berlin shares with Ankara, referring to the three million people with Turkish roots who live in Germany, the strong economic ties between the countries and their cooperation as NATO allies.

But the Association of German Journalists (DJV) said Merkel had sent the “wrong signal” to the Turkish government and added that her references to violations of the right to freedom of press and opinion in Turkey had not made up for that.

A Turkish group called the Union of European Turkish Democrats, which has posted videos online supporting Erdogan, filed a complaint with Austria’s media watchdog on Friday over Austrian newspaper Oesterreich reprinting parts of Boehmermann’s poem under the headline, ‘Is this confused poem art or a scandal?’

Merkel said the German government planned to remove the section of the criminal code that requires it to grant permission for prosecution in such cases.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

24 thoughts on “Germany: Merkel grants Turkish request to prosecute comic over Erdogan insult

  1. “Merkel said the German government planned to remove the section of the criminal code that requires it to grant permission for prosecution in such cases.” – The law and the attitude it reflects are the first problem. The second problem is Germany and Europe’s dependence on the Turks, who belong in Turkey or in Paradise.

    Europeans don’t have the attitude or courage to even acknowledge the second problem. The first problem is almost irrelevant in a country where the prevailing Zeistgeist is hatred of Western Civilization, which the politicians express, among other actions, by ignoring/denying/hiding the sufferings of their populations at the hands of Muslim hordes while systematically oppressing opposition to their migration/immigration policies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Why isn’t Merkel calling for the Turkish bloke to be tried for attacking Europe. Surely he is committing war crimes for encouraging the attacks around the world.
    Obviously he wishes to lick the balls of Muhammed the paedophile false prophet.


  3. It won’t be long until Germany are dishing out sentences of stoning in the village square for wearing a short skirt, walking outside without a mask or by a man having sex with a girl older than 12.

    Merkel is a bigger threat to Europe than Isis could ever be.
    she should be hung for treason.

    This comedian should seek asylum in a country that will stand up for their people… only problem is finding one in this world !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a pivotal moment. If the Muslim Apologist Merkel allows this “case” – Europe is doomed, Captain Mainwaring- we are all doomed. I have my suicide pact beside me now.. I will take out a mosquito (ha-ha) when I go…


    • Is your exit route Nembuthal? This is the route I am planning to take – along with my dogs. Leaving me body to medical science – that is if there is any left after Islam takes over. More likely my neighbors will bury me in the grounds where my home is. Already arranged a new home for the ponies – ducks and geese can fly. Seriously though they are not getting much of a grip where I am. Two Irish passport holders (members of Muslim Brotherhood) are still detained in Egypts goals! Been there since 2012/13! Ha ha ha. No one gives a damn.


  5. This is another mistake merkle is making comedians have always poked fun at,world leaders if this keeps up no one will be allowed to say good morning or someone will complain …she has already proven she is not a good leader by allowing all this trash into your country to rape and murder its citizens she should step,down or deport that garbage that she she seems to love taking selfies with she’s as big a,problem as her,rapeugees are get rid of her


  6. Canada has the same leadership…Justin Trudeau wants to punish anyone who speaks daggers about Islamism. OBonehead in the US wants to do likewise, and Hillary Clitman also said she would promise to punish anyone who spoke the truth about Islam if elected President. The world is being swallowed whole by liberalism.


  7. This is pure bullshit! What is wrong with Merkel’s head? Never mind; I know the answer…she’s suffering the mental disease called liberalism, and has no backbone. Oh, we could use another Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the world right now.


    • Reagan was just as hated by the establishment of both parties at this point in the campaign as Trump is. He was even successfully shut out once, and then the Democrat establishment took the Presidency.

      Then the second he started as President the establishment began pretending to be massive fans ever since. Every candidate no matter how establishment on the Republican side has claimed to be second coming of Reagan and a fan even though it’s been condensed lies every single time.

      The difference is one was an actor, the other is a multi-billion dollar businessman. Trump will be a better president than Reagan ever was, because he knows how to get what he wants done or make what deals he needs to do. For example, Reagan got the tax cuts he wanted done, but wasn’t able to cut spending by any real amount, he wasn’t able to make corruption in any departments really go down and so on. I don’t think Trump will have a problem with that.


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