German authorities are investigating whether a satirical TV presenter who allegedly “insulted” Turkey’s President Erdoğan could face charges.
Jan Böhmermann’s poem contained references to paedophilia and bestiality. His own channel said it had clearly “crossed the boundary from satire into slander” and pulled the late-night programme from a repeat airing.
Chancellor Angela Merkel called the programme “unacceptable” and “deliberately insulting” towards Turkey’s president, and phoned the country’s prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to say so.
The public channel ZDF received around 20 complaints after the broadcast and there were protests outside the German consulate in Istanbul.
German law forbids insults of organs or representatives of foreign states, prosecutors are examining whether criminal proceedings can be brought and have asked ZDF to provide a video.
But it is thought the Turkish government might have to demand charges for proceedings to go further.
It has been revealed that following a previous broadcast by Böhmermann, the German ambassador to Turkey was summoned by the government in Ankara for an explanation.