Merkel agrees to be fucked by Erdogan on prime time TV
Michelle Martin, Madeline Chambers, Reuters, Apr 12 2016
Erdogan has filed a legal complaint against a German comedian who recited a sexually crude satirical poem about him on television. The obscene poem has exploded into a diplomatic incident. Merkel stressed her commitment to artistic freedom. Prosecutors in Mainz said Erdogan had filed a complaint against Boehmermann for insulting him. Under the criminal code, he could, if found guilty, be imprisoned for up to a year. In the Mar 31 edition of late-night “Neo Magazin Royale” on public broadcaster ZDF, the host Boehmermann recited a poem about Erdogan which suggested he was partial to bestiality, along with accusations that he repressed minorities and mistreated Kurds and Christians. Erdogan’s German lawyer, Michael-Hubertus von Sprenger, said he was prepared to go to the highest court and added that the Turkish president wanted Boehmermann to be punished. Sprenger told ZDF:
He definitely won’t get a heavy punishment, but rather it will be a punishment that is necessary to get him back on the right path, to produce satire, and not gross insults.
German media reported that Boehmermann was under police protection and had cancelled the next edition of “Neo Magazin Royale.” Prosecutors are considering the more serious charge of “offending foreign states’ organs and representatives,” in accordance with a request from Turkey. If found guilty of that, Boehmermann could face up to three years in prison. The government would have to explicitly authorize the prosecutors to go ahead on that charge. Berlin will decide on the request from Turkey in the coming days, Merkel said. She told reporters:
Turkey is bearing a very big burden in relation to the Syrian civil war, but all of that is completely separate from Germany’s fundamental values: freedom of the press, opinion and science apply and are completely separate from that.
This clause in question, which seems to require political intervention in the justice system, is rarely used, say experts. Some politicians have called for it to be abolished because it is antiquated. Only a handful of cases have been initiated in the last decade. Media reports say that in the 1960s, the Shah of Iran used the clause against the Koelner Stadt Anzeiger newspaper over a caricatured montage. The law, which does not appear to exist in most other European countries, leaves Merkel with a conundrum. If her government gives the nod to prosecutors, it could enrage Germans already dubious about what they view as her Faustian pact with Erdogan to help stem the flow of migrants. Wolfgang Kubicki of the FDP party told NDR radio:
If the government supported the move, there would be a huge backlash domestically.
A YouGov poll showed 54% of Germans opposed an investigation into Boehmermann by prosecutors, with only 6% in favor. Yet if it rejects Ankara’s request, Merkel could hurt relations with Turkey. Turkish gov spox N Kurtulmus said in response to a question after a cabinet meeting on Monday:
We cannot tolerate this. We want this shameless man to be prosecuted under German law for insulting the president.
Erdogan is known for his intolerance of criticism and his readiness to take legal action over perceived slurs. Turkish prosecutors have opened nearly 2,000 cases against people for insulting him since he became president in 2014, the justice minister said last month. Those who have faced such trials include journalists, cartoonists, academics and even schoolchildren. Boehmermann made clear he was being deliberately provocative. He introduced the poem by saying that a previous song which had triggered protests from Turkey was just comedy, but that serious insults would not be legal. Then he introduced the new song by saying:
To be clear, we don’t do this. We would never do this. Never! But this is how it would look if we did do it! (This method, which I call “framing in disavowal,” will not work as a legal defense if the intention is clearly derisive anyway – RB).
Among those who have stood up for him are the head of the Springer group, Matthias Doepfner. He wrote in Die Welt that the incident has made society think about how it deals with satire and intolerant attitudes towards satire from non-democrats. But German opinion is divided on Boehmermann. Peter Tauber, Gen Sec of Merkel’s CDU, told the NTV channel:
In a constitutional democracy, we all have to stick to the rules, and one of these rules is that offending foreign heads of state is punishable by law.