Yep, Germany has such a law. And yep, Angela Merkel gave a nod to prosecutors to go after the man.
Fortunately, plucky Brit Douglas Murray decided to sponsor, “The President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition” and the nastier the better, scatology strongly encouraged. His entry went like this:
Recep Erdogan is the Turk’ll
Never tire of rim-jobs from his circle
Yet his chief-est delight
(Now Khilafa’s in sight)
Are the felchings he gets from Frau Merkel
Notified of this contest, the former mayor of London, Boris Johnson rattled off the winner during a press interview:
“There was a young fellow from Ankara,
Who was a terrific wankerer.
“Till he sowed his wild oats,
With the help of a goat,
But he didn’t even stop to thankera.”
…“Erdoğan may imprison his opponents in Turkey. Chancellor Merkel may imprison Erdoğan’s critics in Germany. But in Britain we still live and breathe free. We need no foreign potentate to tell us what we may think or say. And we need no judge, especially no German judge, to instruct us over what we may find funny.”
Murray said he would encourage Johnson to donate the £1,000 prize money to a relevant charity.
On Tuesday, a Hamburg court issued a preliminary injunction banning republication of sections of a satirical poem by Böhmermann, saying they amounted to libel of Erdoğan. The poem, which was first recited on German TV, used coarse language to describe the president.
Erdoğan filed two complaints, one with German prosecutors and an application for an injunction to stop the republication of the poem.
Merkel has previously also granted permission for prosecutors to investigate. Under Germany’s criminal code, insults against foreign leaders are not banned but the government can decide whether to authorise prosecutors to proceed.
An MP from Merkel’s conservative party read the poem out in parliament last week, amid widespread criticism of the chancellor’s decision to allow the prosecution to go ahead.
Prosecutors in the western German city of Mainz who are dealing with the Böhmermann case said it was unclear on Tuesday when a decision would be made to pursue prosecution.
At the time Merkel said she would allow prosecutors to investigate, Johnson said she had “numbly decided to kowtow to the demands of Erdoğan, a man who is engaged in a chilling suppression of Turkish freedom of expression”.