German Comedian Loses Case Against Merkel over Anti-Erdogan Poem

(From L) Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron hold hands after a conference as part of a summit called to attempt to find a lasting political solution to the civil war in Syria which has claimed in excess …

A Berlin court has dismissed a lawsuit from comedian Jan Böhmermann who attempted to ban German Chancellor Angela Merkel from criticising a poem insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The poem, which was published in 2016 on the television programme Neo Magazine Royale hosted by the left-wing comedian, was labelled as “insulting” and “deliberately hurtful” by the German chancellor, Die Welt reports.

The broadcast also nearly led to charges being laid on Böhmermann that could have seen him spend five years in prison for insulting a foreign head of state.

Reiner Geulen, the lawyer for Böhmermann, argued that Merkel’s criticism of the poem had inserted a state prejudice into the case and said it was not acceptable that the head of the government “interferes with legal assessments in free and independent jurisdiction.”

The lawyer also alleged that in the aftermath of the broadcast, Mr Böhmermann was forced to move from his apartment and was under temporary police guard. Despite these arguments, the Berlin Administrative Court dismissed the case.

The poem, which was entitled “Defamation Poem” pulled few punches and was regarded as highly inflammatory by many when it stated that the Turkish leader “hits girls while wearing a rubber mask,” and went on to say he was “kicking Kurds, beating Christians while watching kiddie porn.”

The work also referred to Erdoğan as having sex with goats and labelling him a homosexual.

Publication of the poem was also banned by a Hamburg court in May of 2016, with the court stating that only six of the lines from it were allowed to be recited which was seen as a legal victory for Erdoğan.

The charges against Böhmermann for insulting a foreign head of state were later dropped in the Autumn of 2016.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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