Angela Merkel Caves To Turkish Pressure, Authorizes Criminal Probe Against Comic

Tyler Durden's picture

Several weeks ago, a German comedian Jan Böhmermann, landed in hot water after releasing a satirical "video poem" about the Turkish president which aired in ZDF Neo Royale program on March 31, and accuses Erdogan of repressing Turkey’s national and religious minorities, as well as of being a pedophile.

The video, which incidentally was less funny than the author had intended, can be seen in the clip below.

 

Most were slighly amused by it, but not the target of the clip's satire, and a few days ago the Turkish president submitted a criminal complaint against the 35 year old German comedian for libel.

While the video fell under the protective cloak of the right to artistic freedom, press freedom and freedom of opinion, Böhmermann dubbed his poem an act of "abusive criticism" Reuters reported.

Ironically, even former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who has borne the brunt of Böhmermann’s jokes himself, spoke out in support of the comedian, tweeting that “Europe first lost its soul [agreement with Turkey on refugees], now it is losing its humor.”

 

And while some said that this could land the humorist, already under investigation over attacking foreign representatives, in more trouble free speech watchers said that the likelihood of Merkel succumbing to Turkish pressure was low.

However, they were wrong, and earlier today Angela Merkel authorised the Turkish demand for criminal proceedings against a German TV comedian over a crude satirical poem about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a bitter row over free speech.

"The government will give its authorisation in the case at hand," Merkel told reporters, adding that it was up to the courts to decide on his guilt or innocence.

However, perhaps to soften criticism of folding to Erdogan demands, Merkel also announced that Germany would by 2018 scrap the rarely-enforced section 103 of the criminal code -- insulting organs or representatives of foreign states -- under which the comic, Jan Boehmermann, has been accused, as a result of the embarrassing affair.  A section 103 probe can only go forward with the approval of the federal government.

Ankara this month filed a formal request for a criminal inquiry to be launched in Germany against the popular Boehmermann, who accused Erdogan of having sex with goats and sheep while gleefully admitting he was flouting Germany's legal limits on free expression.

Merkel - who had previously labelled the poem "deliberately insulting" -- had pledged Turkey's request would be "very carefully" examined, even as she underlined the German constitution's guarantees of "freedom of expression, academia and of course the arts".

As AFP reports, on Friday she said her government, after heated internal debate, had concluded that only the judiciary should decide whether Boehmermann had committed a criminal offence.

"In a state under the rule of law, it is not a matter for the government but rather for state prosecutors and courts to weigh personal rights issues and other concerns affecting press and artistic freedom," she said.

Merkel stressed that Berlin's decision did not amount to a "prejudgement" on his legal culpability and that "prosecutors and courts" would have the last word. In an ironic twist, German law also allows Erdogan to demand the court verdict be broadcast, if he wins.

And while we respect Merkel's justification for what will be seen as another crushing blow to European free speech, we wonder how a comparable criminal complaint by Putin against a German comedian would have fared (and there are certainly more than enough media jokes for him to pick) with the chancellor. And then we remember that it is not Russia that is the critical threshold for millions of Syrian refugees which can be unleashed upon Europe at a moment's notice, but Turkey, and promptly remember who has all the leverage.

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bada boom's picture

Disgusting! Investigate this you fat pig!

Haus-Targaryen's picture

The German government also confiscated "Right Wing Keyboard Warrior's" computers last week in Berlin for "spouting" "racist" "xenophobic" "Islamaphobic" "propaganda" online.  

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/04/07/police-raid-social-media-posts/

Apparently, they have brought back the Stasi & GeStaPo.   

bada boom's picture

Uh Oh, err, sorry, didn't mean it...

I meant to say investigate this, you wonderful, beautiful, and sexy lady!

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Free speech shouldn't always be allowed. When 'free speech' causes political turbulance and damages relationships with a country's allies, it's arguable that such speech is bad for the common good. Free speech should be allowed as long as it doesn't upset the balance of society, and it serves a practical purpose. Otherwise, it should be banned.

bada boom's picture

Then shut the fuck up and never comment on this site again!

mtl4's picture

MDB that must be your most ironic piece I've ever read........you forgot to add the part abut how the secret police are there to help remind us all not to offend anyone.

bilbert's picture

I'm still thinking that's not the real MDB - no panache.

tonyw's picture

Free speech is only free speech when you are able to criticise someone or voice an opinion that others do not like.

Remaining silent because you disagree and might upset someone is not free speech.

Therefore MDB_ has the right to post what ever drivel he/she/it likes until whoever owns this site bars him - just like all of us.

bobsmith5's picture

Hey wait a minute.  We need MDB on this site to make us angry, to be the evil we need to remind us of the truth.  He is here for that reason.  He is here to be hated and you must hate him because MDB IS EVIL incarnate.  So, keep up the rage and the insults.  Always down vote him.  That is the right thing to do.  MDB is a demon and loves to be stupid and loves your hate for him.  So keep it up.

Now obviously he posted complete stupid nonsense above, we all know that, his free speech above is exactly in itself exactly what he describes. It upsets the social order of Zero Hedge, it upsets the balance. We desperately need political turbulence to damage relationships with each other so that we get shook up and start to think.  According to MDB's thinking he should be banned right here and now on Zero Hedge.  His website should be banned on the internet as a threat to national security because he advocates ww3 as an economic necessity.  This just shows you how incredibly stupid MDB is. 

But wait folks, this moron is for real, he has a website for posting in detail just how fucked up insane he really is.  We need this kind of overt insanity to show us just how stupid communist socialist fascist thinking really is.

css1971's picture

No. It's not satire.

GreaterGlasgPolice ? ‎@GreaterGlasgPol

Think before you post or you may receive a visit from us this weekend. Use the internet safely. pic.twitter.com/xNiDMf3jPA

 

It would be fucking Glasgow of course.

McCormick No. 9's picture

German/Ottoman/Turkish love affair is 102 years old and going strong. How's it been working for you, Deutschland?

JRobby's picture

He spoke his mind and he was funny about it. What a criminal! Lock him up! No room for this tasteless garbage in the NWO!

Bokkenrijder's picture

'Ankara' Merkel, Erdogan's bitch.

Manthong's picture

Full tilt retard

 

I saw that short ditty and there was nothing untrue in it.

Golem need to be sent back to Hades.

Merkel need to be sent back to the East German Hell she came from.

researchfix's picture

Normally in Germany we claim to have an indepentent justice.

Or must I say, we claimed to have...

What has this evil traiteresse to do with that?

Am I stumbling around in parallel universe or she?

Mountainview's picture

Justice hasn't spoken yet...

Mountainview's picture

Goatf***er on public (tax paid) television merits a lawsuit (that what's the claim about)...whoever the target is (with the exception of a billy goat). It's a matter of decency.

nofluer's picture

Since when does decency have anything at all to do with freedom? Either you're free, or you're not. Apparently ni Merkle's world, it's a resounding "NOT".

I mean after all... maybe some day someone somewhere will accuse her of having relations with some disgusting creature (Human? Animal? A Whatever?) Or someone practicing one of the "lesser" religions?) THEN what does she do?

Does Merkel even HAVE a religion? Or when she eventually dies (not soon enough by some lights) does she go straight to an analog of Heil or something?

bobsmith5's picture

Hey wait a minute.  We need MDB on this site to make us angry, to be the evil we need to remind us of the truth.  He is here for that reason.  He is here to be hated and you must hate him because MDB IS EVIL incarnate.  So, keep up the rage and the insults.  Always down vote him.  That is the right thing to do.  MDB is a demon and loves to be stupid and loves your hate for him.  So keep it up.

Now obviously he posted complete stupid nonsense above, we all know that, his free speech above is exactly in itself exactly what he describes. It upsets the social order of Zero Hedge, it upsets the balance. We desperately need political turbulence to damage relationships with each other so that we get shook up and start to think.  According to MDB's thinking he should be banned right here and now on Zero Hedge.  His website should be banned on the internet as a threat to national security because he advocates ww3 as an economic necessity.  This just shows you how incredibly stupid MDB is. 

But wait folks, this moron is for real, he has a website for posting in detail just how fucked up insane he really is.  We need this kind of overt insanity to show us just how stupid communist socialist fascist thinking really is.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

While I know this is satire, I also know there are millions of people all over the West that would agree with this statement completely.  

These people are the future Cheka.  Know those around you who think like this, and don't argue with them.  You will not change their mind, and if the opportunity ever comes for them to "Turn over the racists, homophobes, xenophobes, Islamaphobes, etc., etc.," you're screwed.  

Regrettably, it is time for many of us to start watching what we say.  

booboo's picture

"Regrettably, it is time for many of us to start watching what we say"

that is exaclty what they want. Self censorship. Go cower somewhere else.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

In what is coming --- those that survive will be those that have planned ahead & logically acknowledge what is going to happen.  Those that are taken by surprise and/or react emotionally will have a very difficult time.  

When the day comes, when the veneer of society wears off -- will be when you choose which path you want.   

If you want to be this guy, thats fine, but just realize they never really live very long.  If your goal is surviving this, and what is to come, there comes a point where shutting your mouth is what is necessary.  

There will come a point when it will be appropriate to open it again, but in war (which is what this is going to come to) there is no honor.  There are no winners, just different degrees of losing.   

gatorengineer's picture

Maybe some here see the end conning and would rather go out weapon in hand than bend a knee?  Survival as a snivelling POS isn't for everyone.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

There is a material difference between being a snivelling POS, and shutting your mouth, waiting for the dust to settle, and then asking "ok, where can we go now, and how?" 

I will not live in a Socialist/Communist nation.  I myself have my own tests for when this occurs, but there will come a point when I will make the decision to pack and leave.  

Standing a fighting a force much larger than myself is foolish.  There are enough people that are willing to do that for me, who are acting emotionally.  I don't need to get shot to prove a point.  I can pack myself and the family in the car and run away to a country that hasn't completely lost its mind.  

Luckily for in Germany, it seems like most of Eastern Europe hasn't gone completely nuts, and its fairly close by.  I feel bad for many of my friends and family still in the US.  Where can you go?   

ThirdWorldDude's picture

Numb and bended over is no way to go through life, boy!

 

First they came for the homophobes, but I had my mouth shut...

gatorengineer's picture

I am sure the poles will welcome german refugees with open arms.  The cancer in America is limited to 50 miles inland from the Pacific. And 50 miles inland on the Atlantic rom the Carolina boarder to Maine.  The rest is flyover country with the exception of a few democratically controlled cities in between it willbreboot and thrive.

El Vaquero's picture

There are enough of us here who are going to reach a breaking point that we won't have to go up against a fighting force much larger than ourselves.  When push comes to shove, the Federal government will find that it is a paper tiger, and the people who would have us live is some nightmarish social justice utopia not only buckle when faced with raw aggression, but they have also deliberately made sure that they are unarmed. 

BarkingCat's picture

Fuck that.

It is then that better watch what they say and do.

When the sentiment snaps the other way those that brought ruin to their nations will be the ones undone.

monk27's picture

West Europeans can easily tap into the East European experience, and learn about real survivability skills under oppressive regimes. The Germans, in particular, have an extra advantage since they don't need all these stories translated for them (they just have to cross the Oder, and start listening). The Americans, on the other hand...

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Haus, lucky for us, we still have what you Germans (on the whole) do not have: GUNS and Ammo. Lots of both.

And that's how it should be: THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD FEAR ITS PEOPLE, SO THAT THE PEOPLE WON'T HAVE TO FEAR ITS GOVERNMENT.

Alas, it's the only way to keep Banksters and Politicians/Ploticians semi-honest.

Parrotile's picture

Kirk - UNluckily for you, you also have the "best armed" Police / "National" Guard / Military on the Planet, whose intentions (come the "Big Collapse") may not be entirely honourable.  Add in the penchant for many other ostensibly non-combatant "Government" organisations (National Park Service, NASA, ATF, etc., etc.) to stockpile hollowpoint ammo by the tonne (and of course the delivery systems for this ammo), and just maybe your personal stash may become somewhat irrelevant.

Yo will note I have not mentioned all the other "Mil.Spec. Bulk Killing Systems" your taxpayer dollars have so generously funded (NBC, "Black Ops", covert systems, covert (and none too covert) surveillance - the NSA thanks you for your generosity),  ALL of which might be very useful to the "Government" should their definition of "terrorist" need to be broadened somewhat . . . . . . .

MsCreant's picture

In a revolution there are different talents: Visionary, rebel, agent, scholar, diplomat, and general is one tyology I have seen.

Some of these roles require that someone be covert, some of the time, or in the case of the agent, all of the time. That requires wisdom and secrecy, not cowardice. For those who will work undergound and back stage, the time to withdraw is already upon us, or indeed it may be too late.

Oldwood's picture

While I have the "right" to remain silent, I lack the ability...

Subliminal messenger's picture

You're just trolling, aren't you? Nobody can be this stupid.

MsCreant's picture

That you ask makes it funnier.

More like an effigy, really, sort strutting around begging for it, pushing our buttons, and maybe even testing out some logics for others to sharpen their wit against.

booboo's picture

"In a state under the rule of law"

Full stop, the same state that makes laws, enforces laws and pays the police, the Judges AND the prosecutor. Sounds like a rigged outcome to me.

How many laws did your wife and children break on the way to work and school? Ha, there are sooo many you will never know until they decide to enforce them.

GoldIsMoney's picture

You're rigth: Rule of law = rule of violence. That's the most problematic thing. There can't be any legitimate rule of law becaue you never had a chance on agreeing or not....

Oldwood's picture

When, as a government desperate to retain and gain power, the easiest way to remove your citizen's rights is to criminalize their actions. Once deemed illegal, we forfeit most of our rights, even if not charged. This is the purpose of political correctness...imposing "rules" that initially are only socially enforced but eventually become force of law that very effectively silences our voices....and THAT is all they really care about.

Watch the gun debate. We know they have no means to confiscate the majority of guns, but by continually attacking them they are shifting public perception of their risk and eventually will become law. Those who refuse to relinquish their weapons will become "illegals" and will find ourselves living an underground invisible lifestyle, much like illegal immigrants existed initially. They came here of their own free will, whereas we will find ourselves expatriated from our own country and effectively silenced.

bpj's picture

Really, man that Jeffersoinan free market place of ideas really took hold with you

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

MDB, your routine is getting old and boring.

I will NOT vote your comments. Hopefully you'll go away, or reinvent yourself.

Bush Baby's picture

And Merkel has the balls to call other people a Nazi

bobsmith5's picture

Hey wait a minute.  We need MDB on this site to make us angry, to be the evil we need to remind us of the truth.  He is here for that reason.  He is here to be hated and you must hate him because MDB IS EVIL incarnate.  So, keep up the rage and the insults.  Always down vote him.  That is the right thing to do.  MDB is a demon and loves to be stupid and loves your hate for him.  So keep it up.

Now obviously he posted complete stupid nonsense above, we all know that, his free speech above is exactly in itself exactly what he describes. It upsets the social order of Zero Hedge, it upsets the balance. We desperately need political turbulence to damage relationships with each other so that we get shook up and start to think.  According to MDB's thinking he should be banned right here and now on Zero Hedge.  His website should be banned on the internet as a threat to national security because he advocates ww3 as an economic necessity.  This just shows you how incredibly stupid MDB is. 

But wait folks, this moron is for real, he has a website for posting in detail just how fucked up insane he really is.  We need this kind of overt insanity to show us just how stupid communist socialist fascist thinking really is.

Lady Jessica's picture

You should know better than most foreigners how doctrinaire the Germans can be:

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sekund%C3%A4rtugend

Prussia never really died.

BarkingCat's picture

In reality Prussia never really existed. 

The real Prussians were killed off by Germans and Poles and then Germans stole their name.

monad's picture

translation: Common Core