Smutty Satirical Poem Kicks Off International Incident
A late-night comic’s dirty joke has set of an international incident in Europe and created a string of headaches for Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Two weeks ago, comedian Jan Boehmermann recited a 24-line ditty on German public broadcaster ZDF describing the Turkish president as a pedophile who engages in sex acts with animals. Now Recep Tayyip Erdogan is demanding that Merkel’s government sanction an investigation under an obscure German law that prohibits insulting foreign leaders.
If Merkel blocks the investigation, she risks incensing Erdogan — a key partner in stemming the flow of refugees to Europe — even more. If she allows it, she lets the prickly Turkish leader export his assault on freedom of speech to Germany. Bild, Germany’s largest circulation newspaper, calls Merkel’s quandary “a serious international crisis.”
Reuters’ Lucian Kim does not print or translate the joke, but says that “Calling the 121-word poem juvenile would be an insult to teenagers” and it “barely qualifies as satire.”
Merkel has had to communicate directly with the Turkish Prime Minister over the kerfuffle, and in the meantime, Boehmermann has gone into hiding and is under police protection.
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