President Erdoğan files complaint against German comedian over TV poem
BERLIN - Reuters
AA photoTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has filed a complaint against a comedian who recited a satirical poem about him on German national television, German prosecutors said in a statement.
The public prosecutor’s office in the western city of Mainz said Erdoğan had filed the complaint against Jan Böhmermann via a law firm for insulting him. Böhmermann is the host of the late-night “Neo Magazin Royale” on the public ZDF channel.
In a program broadcast on March 31, Böhmermann recited a poem about Erdoğan that contained crude sexual references and accusations.
That show led Turkey to call in Germany’s envoy to provide an explanation, although Germany rejected Turkish protests.
Böhmermann said the NDR broadcast fell under the right to artistic freedom, press freedom and freedom of opinion and said his poem was not an example of impermissible “abusive criticism.”
Prosecutors said Erdoğan’s complaint would be examined as part of a pending procedure. They had already begun investigating Böhmermann on suspicion of the crime of “offending foreign states’ organs and representatives” after more than 20 people filed complaints.
On April 11, Germany said it was examining a formal request made by Turkey for it to prosecute Böhmermann.