The Turkish state is pushing to have a satirical video mocking president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan banned in Germany, summoning Germany’s top diplomat in Turkey the foreign ministry for a dressing down.
The catchy “Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan [Erdo-how, Erdo-where, Erdoğan]” song was shown on March 17th by Germany’s public broadcasters NRD, on their satirical extra3 show.
However, the video appears to have bruised the ego of Turkey’s Islamist president, and German Ambassador Martin Erdmann was ordered to “justify” the comical video during a lengthy discussion in the Turkish capital last Tuesday, Spiegel reports.
Following the talk, the Germany Foreign Office Tweeted last night: “In his talks at Ministry of ForeignAffairs #Turkey, GER Ambassador made clear that freedom of press+speech must be secured”.
Press freedom is an increasingly alien concept in Turkey, however, where critical voices are now routinely silenced. Voices such as the leading opposition paper, Zaman, was raided and politically re-orientated just weeks ago.
In his talks at Ministry of ForeignAffairs #Turkey, GER Ambassador made clear that freedom of press+speech must be secured. @GermanyinTurkey
— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) March 29, 2016
The contested video lampoons the treatment of women in Turkey, the President’s lavish lifestyle, the way he “blackmailed” German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the migrant crisis, as well as his totalitarian disregard for free speech.
“Be nice to him, since he holds all the cards”, it jests, while showing footage of the German Chancellor eagerly shaking his hand as she desperately tried to secure a deal to stem the migrant crisis. Turkey was widely condemned for “blackmailing” the European Union, securing rapid visa liberalisation and accession to the Union.
“Press freedom gives him a swollen neck. That’s why he needs all those scarves”, the tune goes on, before showing a notorious clip of the President giving a speech in a hilariously high-pitched voice.
“When a journalist writes a piece that Erdoğan doesn’t like, he quickly ends up in jail. Newspaper offices closed down. He doesn’t think twice. With water cannon he is riding through the night”, it continues, referring to brutal repression of protests after the closure of The Zaman.
“He’s living in style. The Big boss from Bosporous. A showy palace with a 1000 rooms built without a permit in a nature reserve”, it also jokes, referring to the president’s luxurious and allegedly illegal new home.