Probe opened against German TV presenter for allegedly ‘insulting’ Erdoğan
BERLIN – Anadolu AgencyA probe has been launched in Germany against a presenter on the ZDF TV station who allegedly “insulted” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in one of his recent programs, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on April 6.
Germany’s Mainz prosecutor’s office opened a probe against presenter Jan Böhmermann for allegedly “insulting foreign state representatives and institutions,” said Mainz chief prosecutor Andrea Keller.
Keller said around 20 people had filed criminal complaints against Böhmermann and that these complaints, along with any future complaints, would be brought together under the probe.
He also said the German Justice Ministry had been informed, in order to clarify whether Turkey or its president had also filed a criminal complaint.
Prosecution spokesman Gerd Deutschler said on April 6 that Böhmermann’s program material could amount to “a violation of section 103 of the [German] criminal code: insulting organs or representatives of foreign states," according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
German government spokesperson Steffen Seibert last week said German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu discussed the issue during a recent phone conversation. He said both officials considered the related part of the show as “intentionally insulting.”
Böhmermann’s satirical program was removed from broadcast after he read out a poem allegedly “insulting” Erdoğan.