Merkel OKs Prosecuting Journalist for Insulting Erdogan

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Merkel OKs Prosecuting Journalist for Insulting Erdogan
by Stephen Lendman
Merkel’s action is the latest example of how tyranny is replacing freedom in Western countries – fundamental rights being eliminated altogether.
Free expression is most important. Without it all other rights are endangered.
In response to German TV host Jan Bohmermann reading a satirical poem on ZDF television criticizing Erdogan, he filed a criminal complaint demanding prosecution for insulting a foreign head of state.
Under a long outdated 1880s law, it carries a three-to-five year prison term. Enforcing it is a flagrant free expression violation. Germany’s constitution guarantees it without making exception for when it’s offensive.
Turkey’s deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus outrageously accused Bohmermann of insulting 78 million Turks, ludicrously calling his criticism a “serious crime against humanity (exceeding) all limits of shamelessness.”
Others earlier filed complaints against Bohmermann’s satirical humor. Voltaire once said he might disagree with what was said, but would defend to the death the right to say it.
Merkel is no Voltaire. In flagrant violation of Germany’s constitution, she acknowledged differing views on the case, saying “(t)he outcome is that the German government will give the authorization to” pursue possible prosecution. 
Erdogan’s regime said Boehmermann’s poem accused him of “repressing minorities, kicking Kurds, and slapping Christians while watching child porn.”
It added he likes having sex with goats and sheep, and “beats young girls while wearing a rubber mask.”
His early April satirical anti-Erdogan poem followed a mid-March controversy over NDR public television airing the satirical song, titled “Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan.”
It accused him of living in a “showy palace,” supporting his “brothers in faith from ISIS,” and saying he “jails journalists for writing things he doesn’t like.”
It added “(b)e nice to him since he’s holding all the cards,” referring to Brussels bribing him to warehouse desperate refugees from Syria and other countries, ravaged by US-led NATO wars, ones EU countries don’t want.
Ankara summoned Germany’s ambassador, demanding deletion of the video from NDR’s web site and social media ones.
Following the “Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan” controversy, Germany’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said “the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and protection of basic rights, which include freedom of the press and freedom of expression are values that must be protected.”
Merkel changed the rules. Protecting basic rights no longer matters.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.