One of Germany’s most popular satirists is facing five years in prison for reciting a poem mocking Turkey’s President Erdogan on television.
The poem joked about the president having sex with goats, and accused him of “kicking Kurds and slapping Christians while watching child porn.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is desperately trying to win favour with the Islamist premier so he upholds the EU migrant deal, personally phoned the Turkish President to apologise, describing the poem as “deliberately hurtful”.
Over the weekend, the Turkish government demanded Germany prosecute the comedian and the German foreign ministry has since said, “It is highly likely that [Böhmermann] has committed a crime”, Tagesspiegel reports.
The development follows the German Ambassador to Turkey, Martin Erdmann, being summoned to “explain” and “justify” a separate comical video mocking the president Erdogan at the end of last month.
The increasingly authoritarian Mr. Erdogan clearly had his ego bruised by the video, but the “ambassador made clear that freedom of press and speech must be secured” in Germany, asserted the foreign ministry at the time.
Following this reaffirming of free speech, comedian Jan Böhmermann decided to show the president what real defamation looked like. Sat before a Turkish flag and portrait of Mr. Erdogan, he proceeded to be fabulously offensive – all with Turkish subtitles included.
He said the president’s “body matter smelled so bad that it was worse than a pig’s fart”, and claimed his, “love is fucking goats / while stomping on minority votes”.
“At night, instead of sleep, he has oral sex with sheep” added another line, and one said, “Erdogan is not just thick, he’s a man with a very small dick’’.
His choice of the word “slander” indicates Mr. Böhmermann was well aware what he was doing was illegal, and after the video was removed, he said on Facebook that he and ZDF had, “impressively shown where the boundaries of satire lie in Germany. Finally!”
According to paragraph 103 of the German criminal code: “Whosoever insults a foreign head of state or an accredited diplomat in Germany… shall be liable to imprisonment of up to three years or a fine. A slanderous [calumnious] insult could be punished with up to five years”.
The last time the rarely evoked law caused any controversy was when it was used in defence of another easily offended Muslim tyrants – the Iranian Shah, who felt “insulted” by a student protest in 1967.