Ankara summons German envoy after TV program pokes fun at Erdogan

Published March 29th, 2016 - 03:00 GMT
Turkey's latest attempt at restricting free speech saw Ankara summoning the German ambassador over a satirical German TV program. (AFP/File)
Turkey's latest attempt at restricting free speech saw Ankara summoning the German ambassador over a satirical German TV program. (AFP/File)

The German ambassador to Turkey has been summoned by Ankara after a satirical news program poked fun at President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, prompting Turkey to demand the video be censored, unnamed diplomats said Tuesday.

Diplomat Martin Erdmann was called to the Foreign Ministry last week after a two-minute song on German state television channel ARD took a swipe at the Turkish president for his controversial stance on freedom of the press and human rights, German weekly Spiegel reported.

After holding talks with Erdmann, Turkey has demanded that the clip, which is available online, be removed from public view, sources from the ministry said.

The German Journalists' Association (DJV) described Turkey's diplomatic intervention as "laughable."

"Turkey's ruler Erdogan has clearly lost his grip," DJV chief Frank Ueberall said Tuesday.

The German government has yet to comment on the fallout.

The song, which featured on satirical news show Extra 3, criticizes Erdogan for "living like a lord" and carries images of his newly built presidential palace, which has caused a stir due to its size and lavishness.

The lyrics also take aim at a recent media crackdown and are accompanied by footage of Turkish security forces storming the editorial offices of Zaman, a newspaper once critical of the government which was recently taken over by the state.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also said to be "in the hands" of Erdogan, on whom she and her EU partners have relied in order to broker a controversial deal aimed at reducing migration flows to Europe.


© 2019 dpa GmbH

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