With Merkel’s consent, German comedian Jan Boehmermann faces criminal charges for the poem he read on his satirical talk show on March 31st. This vulgar poem received quite a bit of attention for mocking Turkish president, Tayyip Erdogan. Specifically, he was accused of bestiality, along with other equally unsavory things.
Erdogan was evidently outraged by the joke. Subsequently, Erdogan and other Turkish government officials, have pressured Merkel’s government to arrest the comedian under an obscure law prohibiting the act of insulting foreign leaders. In efforts to keep the peace with the Turkish president, Merkel is allowing this prosecution to continue.
“In a country under the rule of law, it is not up to the government to decide,” said Merkel. “Prosecutors and courts should weight personal rights against the freedom of press and art.”
Her remarks have obviously been influenced by Turkish government officials and their response to the poem. Numan Kurtulmus, Turkey’s deputy prime minister, referred to the joke as a “serious crime against humanity” and that it “crossed all lines of indecency.”
“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,” said Kurtulmus.
Although the 24-line poem read on the satirical talk show was specifically crude and inappropriate in its nature, many agree that it doesn’t warrant a criminal charge. German citizens, along with members of Merkel’s government are outraged and feel as though this is a violation of open expression.
Luckily it is highly unlikely for Boehmermann to be sentenced some jail time, but he will likely be forced to pay a fine.
Merkel already has enough backlash from the German public and the resentment for her only continues to grow.
Her open door policy which allows millions of migrants to enter the country, soaking up resources and creating dangerous chaos has been highly criticized. On top of that, Merkel recently gave in to the Turkish president last month when she agreed to a controversial deal with the country.
According to this deal, Ankara, Turkey’s capital would get billions of euros in exchange for taking back migrants crossing illegally into Europe. So not only has it been already expensive for the country to manage the migrant crisis, now German citizen’s tax money is being funneled elsewhere. On top of that, Turkish citizens get visa-free travel and the Turkey was given a faster track to becoming part of the EU.
The recent mistake by Merkel is ignoring her public yet again. Instead, she chooses to side with another country’s government. This all started when she referred to the poem as being “deliberately offending.” Now she is allowing Boehmermann’s freedom of speech to be violated. Making her chances to regain the public’s trust and respect nowhere in sight.