Ankara reportedly tried to pressurise Berlin into censoring a satirical clip aired by German broadcaster NDR earlier this month.
However, the show's producers decided to amplify the message and released English and Turkish subtitled versions of
the video criticizing the Turkish President.
Following the broadcast of the satirical piece titled Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan on an NDR show titled Extra 3 on March 17, German Ambassador Martin Erdmann was summoned several days later
to officially explain in length the reasons for the broadcaster's behavior. An anonymous Turkish diplomat told AFP:
We demanded that the programme be deleted.
On Tuesday, the Foreign Office
in Berlin said that Erdmann has been called in once again. However, during the meeting the German ambassador made it clear to the Turkish side that Germany is home to freedom of speech which it will protect. Erdmann said:
The rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the protection of fundamental freedoms, including press freedom... need to be protected.
In the meantime, Extra 3 went out on a full-blown offensive against
Erdogan's demand. The program's Facebook page shared an image of the request to stop showing the clip under the caption: Erdogan's idea of 'TV on demand' .
The satirical piece about The big boss from Bosporus, who is ripe for his
great Ottoman Empire, starts off with criticizing Erdogan crackdown on freedom of speech. Erdogan is also criticized for the alleged shuffling of the electorate votes and cracking down on women.
The controversy inevitably added to the
popularity of the video, with the English version of the video on YouTube receiving over 1.7 million views in less than 24 hours after the news first emerged of Ankara summoning the German Ambassador.
31st March 2016. See article from rt.com
European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker has criticized Ankara's reaction to a satirical clip about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan broadcast on German TV. Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said:
The EU chief
does not approve of [Ankara's] decision to summon Germany's envoy just over a satirical song. He believes this moves Turkey away from the EU rather than brings it closer to us.
She quoted the Commission chief as saying that Turkey's
Doesn't seem to be in line with upholding the freedom of the press and freedom of expression, which are values the EU cherishes a lot .
Update: Germany grovels to
7th April 2016. See article from rt.com
A German prosecutor's office has confirmed that it is investigating if TV comedian Jan Böhmermann violated the law by reciting a "defamatory poem" about Turkish President Erdogan, while Chancellor Angela Merkel called the piece deliberately insulting.
See also article from thelocal.de
video from YouTube
Böhmermann introduced the piece by speaking directly to the Turkish president: What I'm about to read is not allowed. If it were to be read in public - that would be forbidden in Germany, Böhmermann said, before proceeding to perform
his smear poem which, among many insults, called Erdogan a goat fucker who watches child porn while kicking Kurds.
The prosecution is to determine whether Böhmermann, the host of German state broadcaster ZDF's satirical
program Neo Magazine Royale, breached section 103 of the German criminal code that forbids insulting official bodies and representatives of foreign states.
Meanwhile, the German Ministry of Justice was reportedly asked by the prosecution
to determine, if Turkey had launched a criminal probe in the name of its head of state. Section 104 of the German criminal code allows prosecutors to proceed with such investigations only at a foreign government's request. So far, Turkey has not
initiated any public proceedings against the comedian.
In an attempt to remedy the situation, German Chancellor Angela Merkel blasted the poem as deliberately insulting in a phone conversation with Turkish Prime-Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on
Sunday, according government spokesman Steffen Seibert.
In the wake of the conversation, a video recording of the poem was removed from ZDF's website. The broadcaster's spokesman, Alexander Stock, said that what was presented in the form of a
poem for us have been a step too far.
Update: Bluffs are being called, is Germany now ruled by Turkey?
12th April 2016. See
article from dw.com
Turkey is now asking for Germany to prosecute a satirist who made fun of its president.
No matter how Merkel decides, experts say she can't win. She'll either offend an important diplomatic partner or alienate German supporters for being seen to
be under the influence of a repressive dictator.
On Monday, the German government announced it would look into Turkey's request to prosecute jan Böhmermann for a taunting poem the satirist presented in his weekly TV show, Neo Magazine Royale
. In it, Böhmermann called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a zoophile, accusing him of sleeping with goats and beating up girls, Christians and Kurds.
The diplomatic spat between Turkey and Germany comes at an
especially inopportune time. For Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkey is an important partner in the refugee crisis. Merkel has already given Turkey a massively generous (and unsupported by many in Europe) carrot of an opportunity for early entry into the
Critics of the deal had already complained that by entering the agreement, Merkel would make herself too dependent on Erdogan, a man whose regime has recently made news by shutting down newspapers and arresting government-critical journalists.
Even foreign politicians have entered the discussion. Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has proclaimed his support for Böhmermann, despite having been the butt of his jokes many times in the past.
Offsite Comment: Germany's unfunny attack on the freedom to mock
15th April 2016. See article
from spiked-online.com by Sabine Beppler-Spahl
Don't blame Turkey for Germany's prosecution of a satirist.
Update: Merkel grovels to Erdogan and OKs prosecution of satirist
16th April 2016. See article from theguardian.com
Angela Merkel, has been criticised by
members of her cabinet after acceding to a request from the Turkish president to prosecute a comedian who read out a poem insulting Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Merkel was left with the final decision on whether Germany's state prosecutor should
start proceedings against Böhmermann after Erdogan requested the comedian be prosecuted.
Under an obscure section of Germany's criminal code, prosecution for insults against organs or representatives of foreign states requires both a notification
from the offended party and an authorisation from the government.
Update: German censorship victim has decided to suspend his own TV show
18th April 2016. See
article from france24.com
A German comedian whose satirical poem about the new leader of Germany, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has demonstrated the loss of freedom of speech in the country. Popular comic Jan Boehmermann has now decided to suspend his own TV show.
light of the controversy Boehmermann said he was taking a televisual pause to allow the public to concentrate again on really important matters such as the refugee crisis, videos of cats or the love life of (German actress and model) Sophia
Merkel's decision to OK the persecution of Boehmermann has appalled rights bodies such as Human Rights Watch which has called on the German authorities to defend freedom of speech even if the contents of the speech are
offensive to some .