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Thanks, Recep old boy. Cheque’s in the post. Yours, Boris.

The Telegraph reports,

Turkey demands Germany prosecute comedian for Erdogan insult

Angela Merkel is facing a political dilemma after Turkey demanded one of Germany’s most popular comedians face prosecution for insulting its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The row could jeopardise the EU’s controversial migrant deal with Turkey.

The German government confirmed on Monday it had received a “formal request” from Turkey over the weekend indicating it wishes to press charges in the case.

If Mrs Merkel agrees to allow the prosecution, she will face accusations of limiting free speech to placate the authoritarian Mr Erdogan.

But if she refuses it could put the migrant deal with Turkey, which she personally brokered, at risk.

Jan Böhmermann, one of Germany’s most successful young comedians, faces up to five years in prison over a poem in which he referred to Mr Erdogan as a “goat-f*****” and described him as watching child pornography.

Insulting a foreign head of state is illegal under German law, but a prosecution can only take place if a foreign government requests it.

Any prosecution also requires the express authorisation of the German government — leaving Mrs Merkel in a difficult position.

24 comments to Thanks, Recep old boy. Cheque’s in the post. Yours, Boris.

  • JohnK

    Insulting a foreign head of state is illegal under German law, but a prosecution can only take place if a foreign government requests it.

    How did Germany end up with such a piece of shit law? Is it a holdover from the Nazis or the Wilhelmine regime?

  • Rob Fisher

    “Insulting a foreign head of state is illegal under German law”


  • I guess they must of had a rash of lawlessness during the Bush years, but he had thicker skin and more respect for free speech.

  • Eric

    Mark, perhaps puppets don’t count.

  • Laird

    leaving Mrs Merkel in a difficult position.

    Couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.

  • Thailover

    “Insulting a foreign head of state is illegal under German law, but a prosecution can only take place if a foreign government requests it.”

    Well, there you go. Whom exactly am I supposed to feel sorry for, the leader of the fascistic nation or those who behave suicidally within it?

  • Mr Ed

    A stand for liberty, or Turkish delight, Herr Kanzlerin?

    She’ll stuff her face.

    BTW is it as illegal to insult a German Head of State?

    And does that apply to former incumbents, even those with one ball?

    And it seems that Mr Erdogan is complaining that insulting Mrs Merkel in Germany has led to 2 1/2 years in prison, whereas insulting him has led to no action, how racist.

    ‘Bomber Harris, do it again’ goes a song of a German leftist group. He might need to at this rate.

  • I am not sure, but I think there might be some stretching of the law going on here.

    The German Criminal Code in English is available.

    It looks to me as if Mrs Merkel (in the capacity of Chancellor) might be protected under Section 90a – as a symbol of the German state. There does not look to be any protection under any part of Section 90 for foreign states or their officials. Thus the imprisonment of those ‘insulting’ Mrs Merkel looks not to set a precedent WRT Mr Erdogan.

    Under Section 103: Defamation of organs and representatives of foreign states, there does look to be protection against insult (for heads of state down to ambassadors), but only while in Germany on official business. This may well invalidate this particular personal claim by Mr Erdogan – though I’m not absolutely certain he was not in Germany when the insult was uttered.

    Of course, searching the Internet and a bit of keyword search is rather flimsy for a legal opinion, especially on such matters WRT a foreign country. Perhaps some German lawyers might contribute a view.

    Best regards

  • Paul Marks

    “Insulting a foreign Head of State is illegal under German law”.

    Then why were not thousands of Germans locked up for insulting President Bush?

    Oh I see – the law only covers certain Heads of State…..

    As or the “refugees” – there are none.

    A refugee (under the “international law” that the BBC loves) goes to the nearest country to their own. A Syrian may be a refugee when they go to Turkey – but if they choose to go on to Greece (or wherever) they are not refugees.

    Greece and so on are not part of the House of Islam – the followers of Islam did indeed rule for some centuries, but the return of their rule is not welcome.

    As for the Chancellor of Germany – this lady appears to be following the German policy (in relation to Turkey and Islam) that Germany followed in both the First World War and the Second World War.

    For example in the First World War German agents in the Middle East claimed (quite falsely) that the German Emperor would covert to Islam and share out the British and French infidel women among the faithful. And the German encouragement of a Turkish Holy War on the allies (attacked in the novel “Greenmantle”) led the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Christians in the Middle East. The Allies responded by appealing to Arab nationalism against the Ottomans (which Islamic writers have denounced for a century as a “divide and rule” policy), but it was an allied RESPONSE to what the Germans were doing.

    In the Second World War the alliance between the German Chancellor (Mr Hitler) and such people as the pro Axis forces in Iraq and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (who admired to the German “final solution to the Jewish question” – actually going to watch, which Mr Hitler himself did not do) used to be well know. But in recent years this appears to have been forgotten.

    Modern Germany (or rather the modern German government) seems to want the Islamic inspired slaughter to be in Europe itself (not “just” in the Middle East) and is actually encouraging the mass migration of Islamic forces into European lands.

    I believe that this policy of Imperial Germany, Nazi Germany and modern Germany to be profoundly mistaken.

    I think they are mistaken to believe that allying with Islam is in the interests of the German people.

  • Mr Ed


    That’s brilliant, the wording in translation seems a bit ambiguous as to whether the head of state needs to be Germany on an official visit when insulted or could simply be in his bath. I’m sure the ‘reason’ for this was to prevent ‘agitation’ by hankers for the old regime, but it is too useful to let go.

    90a looks to me as if it protects bits of paper and cloth i.e. symbols, rather than office holders, as 90 protects the almost meaningless cipher post of the Federal President rather than the Chancellor, and presumably insulting the Chancellor is fair game as it is a more ‘political’ post. So flag-burning is out etc.

    Just imagining a trip back to 1934, wouldn’t this have been a rough equivalent of Section 90, and would have suited the PTW very well?

    Section 90
    Defamation of the Fuehrer of the Reich

    (1) Whosoever publicly defames the Fuerher of the Reich, in a meeting or through the dissemination of written material (section 11(3)) shall be liable to imprisonment from three months to five years.

    (2) In less serious cases the court in its discretion may mitigate the sentence (section 49(2)) unless the conditions of section 188 are met.

    (3) The penalty shall be imprisonment from six months to five years if the act constitutes an intentional defamation or if the offender by the act intentionally supports efforts against the continued existence of the Reich or against its National Socialist principles.

    (4) The offence may only be prosecuted upon the authorisation of the Fuehrer of the Reich.

  • A Swiss

    The paragraph was introduced in the late 50’s after a newspaper “offended” the Shah of Iran.

    NB: The “comedian” is a socialist, but then he is working for GDR 1 or GDR 2 (ARD or ZDF).

  • Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    Paul, those Germans who made comments about Bush would not have been understood by Bush, so he did not request legal proceedings. The offended person needs to initiate proceedings.

  • jsallison

    PM, On Greece no longer being part of dar al Islam, au contraire. Once conquered by dar al Islam, territories formerly part of dar al Harb cannot legitimately be ‘liberated’ by dar al Harb. They are forever after part of dar al Islam. So sayeth the 7th century sand peasants. This would apply to Spain, Portugal, parts of southern France, SE Yurp at least to Vienna. (Thank you Jan Sobieski and your winged hussars. Everyone should have winged Hussars.)

  • jsallison

    There’s a movie out ‘Gates of Vienna’ that, if you ignore some cheesy special effects and props (those are cannon? really?) isn’t half bad. And it has winged hussars. Everyone should have winged hussars. 😉

  • jsallison

    NG, I’m sure if somebody in ’43’s administration actually gave a damn what some german professional protesters whinged about, he’d have been informed accordingly. He didn’t respond to that drivel in his own country, either.

  • BTW is it as illegal to insult a German Head of State?

    In Germany you can get in trouble for saying the Head of State dyes his hair.

  • Ljh

    At what point does the burden of proof, supposing a charge is laid, require that Erdogan prove he does not nor ever has had congress with a female goat?

  • Mr Ed

    Ljh, from the point of view of English Common Law the now-abolished offence of criminal libel was basically, per the Press Gazette:

    Defamatory libel – in effect a criminal counterpart to the civil defamation – consisted of publishing defamatory matter calculated to expose a person to public hatred, contempt or ridicule, in a permanent form.

    Quite how the burden of proof operated, rather shockingly, the fact that a ‘defamatory’ statement were true would not have made for a defence to the old English law of Criminal Libel, as amended in early Victorian times, see part VI,, unless it was in the public interest to publish, as there was an interest in ‘libels’ not provoking a breach of the peace. To their credit, the last Labour Government abolished criminal libel, whilst elsewhere clamping down on freedom of speech to their discredit.

    So if this libel were tried in England under the old law, even proving the truth of an alleged caprine liaison (Mozart and da Ponte, clean) would not have got you off the legal hook.

  • Mr Ed

    I suppose if Mr Trump takes the oath in January 2017, the Germans will change the law.

  • Laird

    See? There’s always a bright side to everything!

  • Kevin B

    Mr Ed, the last time I saw Le Nozze di Figaro at ROH, they’d cast Ann Murray as Marcellina. Great, thinks I, but of course they skipped her aria. They also left out Don Basilio’s excellent advice on what to do with an old ass’s skin.

    Still, it was great to see the precision Ms Murray displayed in her grand entrance in the Act 2 finale.

  • Mr Ed

    Well the news is that Mrs Merkel is only giving orders and has allowed a criminal inquiry to proceed against the ‘comedian’. They laughed when he said he was going to be a comedian, they’re not laughing now.*

    And she added that her government would move to repeal the article.

    So she does think Trump will win

    * the late Bob Monkhouse.

  • gongcult

    I forgot which comedian or pundit said”Fuck you if you can’t take a joke!” Even hate speech is protected by the US constitution (SCOTUS).so if it’s no truly libelous or scandalous it’s opinion-presumably upheld by a First Amendment approach- although Germany’s guarantees of frer speech are not the same as the US’ s unfortunately…

  • gongcult

    That should be FREE speech. .