Ankara, (AFP): The wrath of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about a satirical song on German television has led to a skirmish between Ankara and Berlin on freedom of expression, did on Tuesday Turkish and German diplomatic sources.
The case began with the release of 17 March mocking title “Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan,” produced by public regional broadcaster NDR, which displeased the head of the Turkish state as to cause the convening by Ankara German Ambassador to Turkey, Martin Erdmann.
Erdmann was requested “last week” to go to the Turkish Foreign Ministry “to express our protest about this issue that we condemn and we asked to stop its spread,” said AFP a Turkish diplomatic source who requested anonymity. According to the German Foreign Ministry, Martin Erdmann has “made it clear” on Tuesday and “a few days ago,” “the rule of law, independence of justice and the protection of fundamental freedoms, including freedom of the press and opinion, “must be” protected jointly “by the two countries.
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“In recent weeks already, the Ambassador Erdmann stressed to the Turkish Foreign Ministry that political satire over in Germany the freedom of press and opinion”, and can as such be subject to a “government action”, is continued in the ministry. NDR chain has in turn protested Tuesday against the Turkish decision. “What the Turkish government clearly active diplomatically because of the show + Extra 3+ is not compatible with our concept of freedom of the press and opinion,” railed the editor of NDR Andreas Cichowicz, quoted by the German news agency DPA. Satirical song about two minutes to Erdogan, produced by NDR for the show “Extra 3” broadcast by ARD public television, is especially addressing the violations of press freedom committed by the Islamic-conservative president. It also criticizes the Pharaonic expenses incurred for the construction of a luxurious palace near the Turkish capital, Ankara.
“He leads a lavish lifestyle, the boaster of the Bosphorus, a journalist who writes does not please Mr. Erdogan is found the next day behind bars,” quips the offending song. Erdogan in power since 2002, first as prime minister and president since 2014, is accused of authoritarianism by its detractors. He strongly criticized these days the presence Friday from Western diplomats, including those of Germany and France in particular, to the trial of two opposition journalists in Istanbul.
In the aftermath, Ankara protested Monday from several European countries from the comments posted on social networks diplomats present at the trial against the editor of the daily Cumhuriyet, Can Dündar and his bureau chief in Ankara Erdem Gül. The two journalists charged with espionage, risk life imprisonment for an article questioning the Turkish regime in deliveries of arms to Islamist rebels in Syria, in January 2014.
The German government has in turn been criticized by German media for controversial agreement completed between the EU and Turkey, and strongly supported by Chancellor Angela Merkel. The media accused Berlin of granting too many concessions to Ankara.