German comedian says Merkel “served him up for tea” to Erdogan
Madeline Chambers, Thorsten Severin (such a name! – RB), May 3 2016
Boehmermann on TV in Hamburg, Aug 21 2012. (Photo: Morris Mac Matzen/Reuters)
The German comedian under investigation by prosecutors for mocking Erdogan accused Merkel on Tuesday of “filleting” him and serving him to Erdogan for tea in his first public comments since the row broke. Merkel drew heavy criticism for allowing German prosecutors to pursue a case against Jan Boehmermann after he recited a poem on television in March suggesting Erdogan engaged in bestiality and watched child pornography. Erdogan demanded Germany press charges against Boehmermann. Turkish prosecutors have currently over 1,800 cases open against people who have insulted Erdogan. Under Germany’s criminal code, insults against foreign leaders are illegal, but the government can decide whether to authorize prosecution. Boehmermann pulled no punches in his interview with Die Zeit weekly, saying:
The chancellor must not wobble when it’s a matter of freedom of opinion, but instead she filleted me, served me for tea to a highly-strung despot, and made me into a German Ai Weiwei.
The diplomatic spat is a headache for Merkel as it makes her vulnerable to accusations she wais getting too cozy with Erdogan. Critics have accused her of ignoring human rights violations and press freedoms in Turkey. Merkel is widely seen as causing the problem in the first place, because she described the poem to Davutoglu as “deliberately insulting,” something she herself has said was “in retrospect a mistake.” Prosecutors in Mainz who are dealing with the case said it was unclear when a decision would be made on whether to go ahead.