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Merkel Authorizes Turkey’s Appeal to Prosecute German Comedian

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#1 onjig



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Posted 19 April 2016 - 05:44 PM

Merkel Authorizes Turkey’s Appeal to Prosecute German Comedian

By Admin on April 15, 2016 in Headline, News // 4 Comments // email_famfamfam.png // printer_famfamfam.gif


BERLIN, Germany (A.W.)—Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters that Berlin has accepted a formal appeal from Ankara to seek the prosecution of German comedian Jan Boehmermann, who has been accused of poking fun at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


German comedian Jan Boehmermann (Photo: ZDF TV/YouTube)

“The government will give its authorization in the case at hand,” Merkel told reporters on April 15, reported RFE/RL. Merkel added that it was up to the courts to decide whether or not the comedian is guilty.


‘The sad reality is that European leaders are allowing Turkish authoritarians to impose their values on Europe,’ the ANCA said in a Facebook post.

Ankara demanded that Boehmermann be prosecuted for insulting a foreign head of state, which Merkel accepted according to section 103 of the German criminal code, which refers to the insulting of organs or representatives of foreign states, according to RFE/RL. While speaking to reporters, Merkel also said that Germany would scrap the rarely enforced section of the criminal code by 2018.

Boehmermann read a poem he penned about Erdogan on Germany’s ZDF television two weeks ago.  According to the comedian, the poem was meant to poke fun at the widespread state censorship in Turkey, especially after another German comedian’s satirical song about Erdogan angered Turkish authorities a few weeks ago.

“The fiction of the Turkish state and society embracing European values is becoming increasingly apparent. The sad reality is that European leaders are allowing Turkish authoritarians to impose their values on Europe,” the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) said in a Facebook post on the Boehmermann incident.





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#2 Yervant1


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Posted 20 April 2016 - 10:09 AM

  Shame on German Chancellor Merkel
        For Succumbing to Erdogan's Bullying
By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
It is bad enough that Turkish President Erdogan wants to sue a German comic for insulting him! It is much more outrageous for German Chancellor Angela Merkel allowing the lawsuit to go forward, based on a 19th century law!
Under this archaic law, anyone who offends a foreign leader can be sued in court after obtaining the consent of the German government. Erdogan now joins the dictatorial ranks of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran and Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet who had filed similar lawsuits in Germany.
Merkel, after initially defending the German citizen's right to freedom of press and opinion, contrary to Turkey’s repressive laws, shamefully buckled under Erdogan's threat to flood Europe with Syrian refugees, after accepting several billion dollars to block such migrants!
Merkel, Obama, and others don't seem to understand that appeasing a bully only leads to more bullying. The best way to stop a bully is just to say ‘no!’ Naturally, Erdogan will throw a temper tantrum like a spoiled brat, make threats, and probably withdraw his ambassador! But, after a while, he will learn that he can't impose his will outside of Turkey, and that the rest of the world will not meekly kowtow to his Sultanic diktats!
For several decades, American, British and Israeli leaders have made the same humiliating mistake of buckling under threats from Erdogan and his predecessors not to utter the words "Armenian Genocide." Had these foreign leaders just said no on day one, they would have spared themselves years of escalating threats! Unfortunate, they have allowed the tail to wag the dog!
Merkel has now gone down the slippery slope of appeasing the Turkish bully. She has made the gross misjudgment that by allowing the prosecution of the German satirist, she has bought Erdogan's friendship! The German Chancellor will soon face new demands from the Turkish President on Syrian refugees and many other issues, such as next month's scheduled vote in the Bundestag on the Armenian Genocide which has already been postponed several times under earlier Turkish threats.
Merkel's unwise and undemocratic move may cause a split in her "grand coalition" government. Thomas Oppermann, the parliamentary leader of the center-left Social Democrats, criticized her decision, urging the Chancellor to repeal the antiquated law. Foreign heads of state should not enjoy special rights to sue German citizens, Oppermann warned.
Two influential ministers in Merkel's government also announced their opposition to her decision. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Justice Minister Heiko Maas declared: "The freedom of opinion, media and culture are the highest treasures of our Constitution."
Furthermore, two-thirds of the German public opposes Merkel’s decision to try the satirist, according to a recent survey. In the last few days, her popularity fell from 56% to 45%. According to another survey, 66% of the respondents oppose the prosecution of the satirist, while only 22% support it. The German newspaper ZDF, which posted the satirist’s video on Erdogan, has promised its full legal support during the investigation.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also criticized Erdogan’s unacceptable overreaction. Juncker vowed not to compromise on European values in order to preserve the recently struck deal with Ankara to stem migrant flows, according to the Turkish Hurriyet newspaper. “I cannot understand at all that a German ambassador has been summoned for an admittedly difficult satirical song,” Juncker stated on April 13. “That does not bring Turkey closer to us. It will put us farther away from each other.”
According to the New York Times, Erdogan has filed almost 2,000 lawsuits in Turkey against those he accuses of insulting him. The Turkish President has already brought a private lawsuit in a German court against the satirist, who could face a three-year jail term or an unspecified fine, if found guilty.
Satirist Jan Bohmermann, in his sarcastic poem, made references to sex with goats and oppressing minorities. He called Erdogan “dumb as a post, cowardly and uptight” and “perverse, lice-ridden… kicking Kurds, beating Christians, all the while watching child porno films.”
No matter how insulting the poem may be, the writer should have the right to express his opinion freely. It is one thing for Erdogan, the dictatorial leader of a third world country, to repress the media. It is completely a different matter for the head of a major Western European democracy to side with the Sultan of a fascist Middle Eastern state. In this regard, Merkel’s transgression is much worse than Erdogan’s!

#3 Yervant1


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Posted 20 April 2016 - 10:19 AM

April 19, 2016

'Insult Turkey's Erdogan' contest set up by Spectator magazine


German satirist Jan Boehmermann offended President Erdogan deliberately on air and is now facing potential prosecution

BBC - A UK-based magazine has offered a prize to the author of the most offensive poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is suing a German comedian over a satirical verse.

The Spectator is offering £1,000, donated by a reader.

It comes after Germany opened the door for a comedian to potentially be prosecuted over a TV broadcast.

Jan Boehmermann had recited a satirical poem on the TV channel ZDF which made sexual references to President Erdogan.

Mr Boehmermann is now under police protection and Angela Merkel's governmenthas approved a criminal inquiry, under a little-used law concerning insults against foreign heads of state.

Mrs Merkel stressed that the courts would have the final word, and it was now up to prosecutors to decide whether to press charges.

Announcing the competition, commentator Douglas Murray wrote: "The fact such a trial could even be contemplated demonstrates that Germany is becoming little more than a satrapy [province] of Erdogan's."

"I'm a free-born British man... In honour of this fact I have spent the weekend writing rude limericks about Mr Erdogan.

"And I would hereby like to invite all readers to join me in a grand Erdogan limerick competition."

Since Mr Erdogan became president of Turkey in 2014, almost 2,000 cases of insulting him have been opened.

The Boehmermann case has opened a debate about free speech in Germany.



#4 Yervant1


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Posted 28 April 2016 - 09:41 AM

Germany’s cultural council tells Turkey to mind its own business

17:14, 28 Apr 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

A musical project in Dresden has come under fire for branding the
Armenian massacre a “genocide.” The head of Germany’s cultural council
says it’s yet another case of Turkey’s inappropriate interference
abroad, Deutsche Welle reports.

The director of the Dresdner Sinfoniker Markus Rindt conceived an
ambitious project in November 2015, alongside German-born Turkish
guitarist Marc Sinan. Musicians from Turkey, Armenia and Germany would
come together for the concert project “Aghet” in remembrance of the
persecution and massacre of Armenians 101 years ago during the final
days of the Ottoman Empire. The event was intended to be a sign of

Turkey, however, has taken umbrage in this, and is particularly
offended by the use of the term “genocide” on the homepage of the
European Commission, a main sponsor of the event. The EU appears to
respect Turkey’s position and has removed its related pages. But Olaf
Zimmermann, head of the German Cultural Council, says that this could
become a slippery slope leading to encroachment of freedom of art and

DW: Turkey appears to be targeting German cultural figures once more.
This time it has taken aim at a concert by the Dresdner Sinfoniker
orchestra, scheduled to be performed this weekend to commemorate the
Armenian massacre at the end of the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish
government does not view the killings as a “genocide” – but surely
that’s not all?

Olaf Zimmermann: No, it’s not just about that one word, of course.
It’s about an artistic endeavor that examines the unique fate suffered
by Armenians as they were forced into migration. Needless to say, the
characteristics of this project deal with a situation 101 years ago.
So referring to these massacres as genocide is not a creative concept,
but rather builds on the opinion of reputable historians. Those
artists in Dresden don’t represent dissenting views, but are part of
the mainstream interpretation of events.

But Turkey has repeatedly resisted being associated with the
terminology of genocide in the past when it comes to Armenians.

And that’s perfectly fine. Everyone has to find their own way to come
to terms with the past. But trying to enforce one particular
interpretation of a historic event amounts to a transgression and is,
simply put, unacceptable. What they are doing is like aiming their
cannons in the general direction of Dresden to do nothing but hit mere

But Turkish President Erdogan skipped the immediate step of voicing
his grievances at the orchestra and rather went straight to the EU,
which is one of the sponsors of the project. And in response to his
complaint, the EU actually went ahead and removed the description of
the concert from its website to rephrase its wording. What do you
think about these measures?

I think that’s problematic. Mr. Erdogan tells our leaders to jump and
they seem to ask “how high?” At first it was only our chancellor, who
reacted that way to that poem recited by comedian Jan Böhmermann, and
now it’s the entire EU. Instead they could just tell him that it’s
none of his business and that we won’t do anything about these things.

There have been such interventions in the past already, but they’re
beginning to amass. And this is on account of the fact that Erdogan
apparently seems to believe that the German government and the EU as a
whole have become susceptible to such blackmail since we need his
assistance in dealing with the refugee crisis. That’s why he seems to
feel free to intervene in our domestic issues. Both the German
government and the European Commission have become nervous and
fearful, and the Turkish president is abusing this. This is a
considerable problem.

Markus Rindt, director of the Dresdner Sinfoniker, says that this
amounts to a major encroachment on freedom of expression and freedom
of art. Are these freedoms being undercut?

At the very least, we’re getting accustomed to a foreign president
having something to say about what we choose to do artistically in
Germany, and if he doesn’t like something he seeks to prevent it. That
is a rather unusual way of dealing with things, and I would really,
really, really like to ask the government for more backing here,
telling Erdogan to keep out of our business.



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