Erdogan and the Satirist, part 1: Inside Merkel’s Comedy Conundrum

Published on Spiegel Online International, by Markus Brauck, Jörg Diehl, Dietmar Hipp, Isabell Hülsen, Hasnain Kazim, Alexander Kühn, Nils Minkmar, Martin U. Müller, Peter Müller, Ann-Katrin Nezik, René Pfister, Fidelius Schmid and Christoph Schult, April 15, 2016  (Photo Gallery).

With his insulting poem about Turkish President Erdogan, Jan Böhmermann has triggered an affair of state. Now, Chancellor Merkel has elected to allow legal proceedings against the German comedian. What, though, was Böhmermann’s intent?  

Jan Böhmermann has disappeared. He’s not giving interviews; he’s not answering his phone. Since Monday, he has also gone silent on Twitter, where he is normally extremely active. He has hardly left his home in Cologne in the last few days and he is also now under police protection … //

… Kicking Kurds, Beating Christians: … //

… A Lack of Unity:

  • Because such legal proceedings may only be carried out if authorized by the federal government, the ball was now in Merkel’s court and the maneuvering got underway in earnest. In formal terms, a letter from Germany’s Foreign Ministry to the responsible public prosecutor would suffice to get things rolling. But Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) didn’t want to personally take on that level of responsibility. He informed Merkel that he felt this was a matter for the entire German government. The debate went on for days but no consensus developed.
  • On Monday afternoon, officials from the Chancellery, the Foreign Ministry and the Justice Ministry met to brief each other on the latest developments. The meeting — led by Merkel’s foreign policy advisor, Christoph Heusgen, and Stephan Steinlein, Steinmeier’s state secretary — failed to produce any results. In the Chancellery, officials tended to favor allowing the criminal proceedings under Paragraph 103 to go ahead as a way of deferring ultimate judgment to the justice system.
  • Berlin government officials made the case that a precedent had been set in the case of former Swiss Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey, who was the last person to successfully place a criminal complaint under the law in Germany in 2007. After a Swiss national had posted insults about her on the Internet in Regensburg, Germany, a German court prosecuted the man. Besides, government officials argued, Seibert had already said what the chancellor thought of Böhmermann’s poem. How could they now refuse Erdogan’s demand?

Fear of Turkey? … //

… A Bow to Erdogan: … //

  • //
  • … Top Commission officials who are critical of the deal also admit that Turkey has at least partially upheld its end of the bargain and that the number of refugees heading for Greece is dropping.
  • But there are problems. According to Amnesty International reports, Turkey has sent up to 100 Syrians back into Syria every day this year. “Is this true? And if this is true, can we continue with a deal that is against international law and against our obligations?” asked Guy Verhofstadt, floor leader for the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, in Strasbourg. His party believes Erdogan is using the deal to force Europe to back away from its values.
  • “We have already given him the keys to the gates of Europe and now we risk handing over the keys to our newsrooms to him so that he decides and controls our media,” Verhofstadt said. Böhmermann’s skit, he said, is “not my taste in humor, but in a free society such satirical poems must be possible. That is the price we pay for our freedom, and we pay happily for our freedom.”
  • With his skit, the artist Jan Böhmermann has created a monument to himself. And even if hardly anyone has been able to see the Erdogan number in its entirety, it already belongs in the German Historical Museum.

(full text, related links).

Part 2: Searching for Allies;
Part 3: The Political Disaster.

related: Erdogan’s Tightrope Walk: How Turkey’s Reform Project Ended in Isolation, on Spiegel Online International, an Essay by Michael Werz, April 8, 2016: When he first came to power, Turkish President Erdogan embarked on a path of modernization. But the growth of a new elite withered those reforms and now, an autocracy is taking hold. It is time for the West to rethink its relations with Turkey.

some concerns discussed this month by Richard D. Wolff:

Global Capitalism: April 2016 Monthly Update, 95.06 min, uploaded by Democracy At Work, April 14, 2016. Websites: Democracy at WorkLeft ForumJudson Memorial Church, Manhattan;

… you may learn this month about:

A): the end of a tabou in the US:

B): phoney firms:

  • Phony vs. phoney, Phony is the American spelling of the word meaning (1) not real, (2) not genuine, and (3) a false or inauthentic … (here concerning the Panama Papers with the help of phony = offshore firms);

C): go to Google and put  1MBD:

  • Malaysia accuses Switzerland of ‘misinformation’ over stolen 1MDB billions, on The Guardian/Malaysia, by Oliver Holmes in Bankok, Feb 2, 2016 – exclusive: Malaysian cabinet minister tells the Guardian the Swiss attorney general got his facts wrong in US$4bn corruption allegations;
  • 1Malaysia Development Berhad, on en.wikipedia: (1MDB) is a strategic development company, wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia.[1] 1MDB was established to drive strategic initiatives for long-term economic development for the country by forging global partnerships and promoting foreign direct investment.[2] 1MDB is currently involved several high-profile projects such as the Tun Razak Exchange, Tun Razak Exchange’s sister project Bandar Malaysia and the acquisition of three Independent Power ProducersIn 2015, allegations were made in several newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, that the organisation had been used to siphon state funds into the accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak, and people associated with him …;
  • Malaysian 1MDB scandal, Who is Arul Kanda, the LSE graduate charged with rescuing troubled investment fund, on International Business Times, by Dan Cancian, Feb 17, 2016;
  • more on 1MBD in Google News-search;

D): Clinton’s anti crime bill, on Google Web-search:

E): … etc. etc. …

Other Links:

Like Italian mafia, German gangs recruit new members from asylum seekers – police chief to RT, on RT, April 16, 2016;

Who Really Controls the World? Concrete Proof of the Global Elite, on Outsider Club, April 16, 2016;

It’s official – How much Putin and his ministers earn, on RT, April 15, 2016: With the declarations of income and property of Russian top officials published on Friday, everyone can have a peek into their wallets. See if you can guess how much the president earned in 2015, and who made over 50 times more than him;

9th Democratic Presidential Debate – FULL CNN Brooklyn Debate, subdivided into 13 smaller videos, April 14, 2016;

Schluss mit der organisierten Finanzkriminalität (13.04.2016) – Sahra Wagenknecht, 6.17 min, uploaded by Bananenrepublik1, April 13, 2016;

Conférence: Tirage au sort et démocratie, dans, par maQiavel, le 13 avril 2016;

Nuit Debout à Berlin, osons rester debout, dans Café, par Marianne Fenon, le 13 avril 2016;

Cypriot MPs earn almost double the average income before expenses, on Cyprus Mail, April 13, 2016;

La récolte de signatures sur Internet va secouer le système politique suisse, dans Le, par Yelmarc Roulet, le 12 avril 2016;  (voir la plateforme, lancée prochainement – fin April avec Transparenz-Initiative / Alliance pour plus de transparence dans le financement politique = site web français en construction);

Mon expérience à #NuitDebout Lyon, dans Mé, par Martin Gaillard, le 12 avril 2016;

A côté de la plaque, dans Le, par Benito Perez, Laura Drompt, Rachad Armanios, le 12 avril 2016;

SNP would need to offer ‘progressive’ tax policy to get support of Greens in coalition – Patrick Harvie, on Holyrood, Alan Robertson, April 12, 2016; Scottish Greens co-convener tells manifesto launch it is “inconceivable” tax policy would not be number one priority in event of coalition negotiations;

Scotland will move away from existing UK tax structure over time – Nicola Sturgeon, on Holyrood, by Alan Robertson, April 12, 2016;

FRANCE: Economic, Social and Environmental Council CESE will examine citizens’ income, on BIEN, by Stanislas Jourdan, April 12, 2016: the French Republic’s main consultative body has announced that it will undertake an assessment of the potential economic impact of introducing a basic income in France;

… and this – Santana

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