Turkey has an unusual aproach to international relations, calling in Germany’s Ambassador for a dressing down to complain about a satirical song mentioning President Erdogan in a regional programme ‘Extra-Drei’. The laughable over-reaction led to President Erdogan being awarded their employee of the month award for bringing this rather obscure magazine programme to the attention of the entire German speaking media and social networks. The editors followed up by screening a version with Turkish subtitles the following week.
This week, on another channel, ZDF, a tv presenter Jan Böhmermann incurred Erdogan’s wrath by reciting a small uncomplementary poem about the President. Erdogan has made a complaint to the courts that he has been insulted. Under German law it seems to be illegal to insult the Head of State of a Foreign Country. Where does he find the time for this kind of nonsense?
You have to wonder why Erdogan is getting so hot under the collar about essental harmless satire – has he no sense of humour, or could it be that he has realised the images shown in the Extra Drei montage, of women being beaten up by police on International Women’s Day, of journalists being arrested, actually leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, not because of the humour, but because they realise how Turkey seems to be on a dangerous slope towards instability and civil strife.