Germany lets prosecutor consider charges for poem about Turkey’s Erdogan

69
Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 0:03 AM

It’s another example of a clash in values between NATO allies that roils Turkey’s relationship with Europe in the midst of negotiations to stanch the flow of refugees from Syria and elsewhere.

Germany lets prosecutor consider charges for poem about Turkey’s Erdogan

Late-night comedy sketches featuring a German song and a follow-up poem making fun of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have created a diplomatic rift, and left German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the position of angering her own nation but not quite appeasing Turkey.

It’s another example of a clash in values between NATO allies that roils Turkey’s relationship with Europe in the midst of negotiations to stanch the flow of refugees from Syria and elsewhere.

It began March seventeen with a late-night skit that featured The song, played in front of a background of news footage, notes among other things, “He hates the Kurds love the plague, and bombs them rather than the brothers of the Islamic State.”

Erdogan had the German ambassador to Turkey summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry to hear their displeasure with the song.

The Germans stood their ground. The ambassador explained that the skit was political satire, and as such protected by Germany’s free-speech laws. The Turkish government grumbled but appeared to accept the explanation.

The attempt at a diplomatic dressing-down led to a substantial quantity of comment in Germany and a flood of jokes at the expense of the famously prickly Erdogan. Among them was a poem, read from a comedy-sketch faux news desk, after the news anchor explained that while satire is protected below German law, something called “abusive criticism” is not.

Then comedian January Boehmermann that could only be described as abusive. It made reference to the odor and size of Erdogan’s private parts and to his alleged sexual activities with goats, sheep, whips and rubber masks. The most printable portion of the poem accused Erdogan of “oppressing minorities, kicking Kurds and beating Christians, while watching child porn.”

In German, it all rhymed.

Boehmermann even advised Turkish executive how to create an official complaint, including which attorney Erdogan might wish to hire.

The Turks, from Erdogan on down, weren’t walking far so easily this time.

Erdogan responded by lodging a personal criminal complaint with prosecutors in Mainz, the city where the comedy indicate is based. He cited Paragraph one hundred eighty-five of the German penal code, accusing the comedian of slander, a crime that carries a five-year prison term.

And that wasn’t all.

The Turkish government also asked the German government to prosecute below Paragraph one hundred three of the penal code, which bars insulting a foreign head of state. That law carries a potential three-year prison sentence, but it requires the approval of the German government to create it to court.

That’s when, in the view of the German media, Merkel made a mistake. She was talking with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu about the poem and, in what's thought to be an attempt to defuse the situation through empathy, agreed that Boehmermann’s verse “was a deliberately offensive text.”

After all, Merkel is a frequent target of the comedy shows and had been in a similar situation many times.

But the statement, from a Turkish perspective, appeared to be an admission of German guilt. The Turkish government demanded a follow-through.

On Friday, Merkel agreed to let the German prosecutor consider the charge.

“In the state of the law, it's not the matter of the government but of prosecutors’ offices and the courts to weigh the personal rights of the person concerned against the freedom of the press, and art,” she said. She also well-known that she'd ask the German parliament to strip that paragraph from the penal code.

Thomas Oppermann, the floor boss of Merkel’s coalition partner Social Democrats in the Bundestag, was fast to criticize.

“I consider the decision to be wrong,” he said. “Prosecution of satire on grounds of offense against a sovereign doesn't fit into a modern democracy.”

If Erdogan, however, is successful, the following offended sovereign might well be Donald Trump, who’s routinely skewered by Germany’s comics. featured a song set to the tune of “Jump” that included the following lyrics (again, they rhyme in German):

“He closes the borders to Mexicans and every Muslim. That’s what they like him for. A wealthy psychopath who makes xenophobia socially acceptable, who laughs about handicapped people, a freak named Trump, the overweight pants (meaning one who pretends to be rich) Trump.”

READ ALSO
How a fly could halt CA’s ivy invasion

How a fly could halt CA’s ivy invasion

Now, Agriculture Dept executive are finally getting prepared to draw the trigger, turning the fly loose on the weedy vine that’s infested shady parts of the Pacific Coast.

62
Niello’s Alfa Romeo store opens in Sacramento

Niello’s Alfa Romeo store opens in Sacramento

The Sacramento-based auto dealership chain recently opened its Niello Alfa Romeo dealership at two thousand five hundred thirty-fifth Arden Way. It’s the only Alfa Romeo store in the area, and it’s the first time in some forty years that the 106-year-old...

120
Washington, D. C. holiday gives taxpayers additional time to file returns

Washington, D. C. holiday gives taxpayers additional time to file returns

Historically, April fifteen is the deadline to file returns, but the deadline was pushed to April eighteen this year, because Washington, D. C. celebrated Emancipation Day on Friday.

90
two thousand seventeen Subaru Forester wants to be the quietest Subie ever

two thousand seventeen Subaru Forester wants to be the quietest Subie ever

The base two.5-liter boxer four ekes out 2 more city MPGs, bringing the total to twenty-six. Hwy efficiency remains the same at thirty-second, but the more efficient city figure raises the combined EPA rating to twenty-eight mpg.

126