Early this week the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf published a cartoon, titled “The Long Arm of Erdogan”, that depicted Turkish President Recep Erdogan as an ape boorishly crushing symbols of free speech and spilling ink on Europe.
The cartoon was published in response to Dutch journalist Ebru Umar was arrested in Turkey for criticizing Erdogan. Europe has been focused on Turkey’s suppression of free speech after German Chancellor Angela Merkel moved forward with steps that would allow for the persecution of comedian Jan Böhmerman, who recited a poem on television that was critical of Erdogan. Merkel said it was now up to the German courts to determine whether or not Böhmerman will be punished, a stance that has caused outrage in Germany. Members of Merkel’s own party have spoken out against her decision, claiming that she has sold out German values to appease Turkey.
Merkel said it was now up to the German courts to determine whether or not Böhmerman will be punished, a stance that has caused outrage in Germany. Members of Merkel’s own party have spoken out against her decision, claiming that she has sold out German values to appease Turkey. The two countries are on the verge of a deal that will attempt to handle the flow of refugees into Germany.
Böhmerman, a German national, aired a satirical music video called “Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan” which drew outrage from the president. In response to Erdogan’s outrage the comedian proceeded to recite an explicit poem on air that further criticized the president.
Prof. Dr. Numan Kurtulmus, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister, called the poem a ” serious crime against humanity” that “crossed all lines of decency.” Böhmerman and his supporters claim that the video is entirely protected under Germany’s free speech laws while Merkel claims that the song constitutes “abusive criticism” of a foreign head of state, an archaic but chargeable offense in Germany. Turkey has long been criticized for its control over media.
The following is the song that drew the original call from Erdogan to persecute Böhmerman:
The poem, as translated into English from German, is as follows:
Dumb, cowardly and inhibited,
is Erdogan the president,
his ugly dick smells like Döner,
even pig farts are better,
he is the man who punches women,
while wearing the mask of Gummi,
his favourite is to fuck goats,
as well as suppress minorities,
kick Kurds, beat up Christians, while watching child porn,
in the evening instead of sleep,
fellatio with a hundred sheep,
yes, Erdogan, stout and rout. is a president with a small dick!
The humour in both the original song and the poem is subjective, as humour usually is. Those who support Böhmerman insist that despite how tasteless one might find his comedy it should and must be protected as free speech.