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Thread: Merkel Bows to Turkish Pressure and Allows Prosecution of German Comedian for Insulting Erdogan

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    Merkel Bows to Turkish Pressure and Allows Prosecution of German Comedian for Insulting Erdogan

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has cleared the way for the prosecution of German comedian Jan Böhmermann, whose poem mocking Turkey’s president has become the centerpiece of a clash between Germany’s free-speech traditions and the government’s efforts to safeguard its important relations with Turkey.

    In a news conference Friday, Merkel emphasized that it will now be up to German courts to decide whether Böhmermann is guilty of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But critics — including members of her own government — have described it as a betrayal of values protecting open expression.

    “In a country under the rule of law, it is not up to the government to decide,” Merkel said. “Prosecutors and courts should weight personal rights against the freedom of press and art.”

    Although Böhmermann could face several years in jail if convicted, lawyers familiar with similar cases expect that the comedian would have to pay a fine, if at all.

    The stakes are potentially higher for Merkel.

    Criticism of her reaction to the incident had mounted ahead of the announcement. Opponents have said the chancellor made a glaring misstep earlier by calling the poem “deliberately offending” — a comment interpreted by some as support for Erdogan, who has been accused of cracking down on press freedom in Turkey.

    Not allowing the charges to proceed could have jeopardized a refugee deal with Turkey, which was recently negotiated. Turkish officials had publicly pressured Merkel to allow the charges. Earlier this week, Turkey’s deputy prime minister, Numan Kurtulmus, said that the poem was a slap against all Turks.

    “That is why the Republic of Turkey demands that this impertinent man is immediately punished for insulting a president, within the scope of German law,” Kurtulmus said. He went on to call the poem a “serious crime against humanity” that had “crossed all lines of indecency.”

    In her statement Friday, Merkel tried to appease critics by announcing that she would seek to repeal the controversial German law against insulting heads of state.

    Merkel was forced to decide on the matter after the Turkish president had officially filed charges against Böhmermann earlier this week. The mock poem in question aired during a segment of ZDF Television’s Neo Magazin Royale show last week. Some of the lines included accusations of bestiality and other unsavory things.

    Merkel’s decision followed clashes within her own government.

    Germany’s Social Democrats, the chancellor’s coalition partners, wanted to prevent a court trial. One of the party’s leading politicians, Thomas Oppermann, said prosecution for satire “does not fit into a modern democracy.”

    Another dissenter, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, called free expression “among the most important values protected by our constitution.”

    Udo Vetter, a defense lawyer and blogger, commented that Merkel’s decision sends the wrong message. “It forces Germany’s legal authorities to act on behalf of Mr. Erdogan,” Vetter argued. But an internal report commissioned by the foreign ministry concluded that Böhmermann was most likely guilty of a criminal offense, according to Berlin’s Tagesspiegel newspaper.

    http://praag.org/?p=22260

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    It does appear that this case has opened some people's eyes to speech repression in today's Germany. But despite the widespread outrage, Merkel still capitulated to Erdogan.

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    This woman needs to go before she sets off nukes in Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich.
    Most people think as they are trained to think, and most people make a majority.

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    Yeah, now that Turkey's got the cash for the deal, they'll use any excuse.

    Not that they ever intended keeping it anyway.

    Maybe not all Turks, but the Turkish government is ISIS.

    ISIS wants global Islam, and migration is part of that strategy.

    When your neighbor's dogs want to kill you, and the owner leers smilingly, you don't make a deal.

    You build a wall, and arm yourself.

    A stupid person, this Merkel.

    God may save the Queen, but Merkel belongs with the devil in hell.

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    I don't feel bad about this guy getting punished, he's the one who made this terrible commercial for national TV:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMQkV5cTuoY

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    In what kind of country is it forbidden to mock a foreign head of state?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NordicSkogsra View Post
    In what kind of country is it forbidden to mock a foreign head of state?
    Today I discovered the Netherlands has a similar law, though the Dutch parliament is looking to repeal it. During the 1930s it was used to fine people who insulted Hitler (!), and in the 1960s on protesters against President Johnson.

    http://www.nu.nl/politiek/4247659/ka...aatshoofd.html

    Apparently it's also illegal in Switzerland and Poland.

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    I wonder how many of the liberals who are (rightly) indignant about this also object to the criminalisation of revisionists. They act like this is out of kilter with the German state's usual behaviour, but it is characteristic of the regime's suppression of dissent.

    I doubt this guy will get as much time in prison as Ernst Zündel or Horst Mahler, if he is successfully prosecuted. For his sake, I hope not.

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    it seems more that Merkel deflected the issue, she washes her hands in innocence and handed that red hot iron to the Justice system.

    Then she is out of the game.

    The justice system will give a rats ass for Erdogan's sensibilities. and will drop the case.

    Its Art and in Art any bad stuff is allowed.

    The Turks will come anyway to Germany as Merkel promised it to Erdogan.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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