Satire in Germany attacking Erdogan and Turkish politics
Lately there has been a lot of controversy in Germany over the issue of political satire criticising Erdogan and his regime in Turkey.
It all started with this video by Extra-3 on NDR
Personally I think it is quite funny. But Erdogan, unsurprisingly, does not have a sense of humour, and made this a diplomatic issue.
I think that was a pretty bad move, because if he had just ignored it, I do not think it would have been a big deal. The video does not really say anything any halfway awake observer of Turkey would know anyway. Erdogan is almost exactly the “thinly veiled dictator about to install a full-blown fascist dictatorship” that Putin is regularly painted as in Western media. And it is not like the video was aired as part of a primetime show with millions of viewers.
It might have been delusions of grandeur or too much machismo or just stupidity on the Turkish side, who knows? The Turks summoned the German ambassador and demanded the deletion of the video. This reaction made headlines in Germany.
In response public TV station NDR re-released the video with English and
The situation escalated when Jan Böhmermann shared his “poem” for Erdogan with his audience in his show Neo Magazin Royale.
Unlike the lyrics of the original video, his text was in no way even remotely clever or politically uncomfortable. It is the sort of unsophisticated insult that twelve-year-olds might hurl at one another, and actually insults the “insulter” more than the “insulted”, especially since we are not talking about twelveyear-olds here but grown men.
On its own it is pitiful drivel, but in the wider context of the debate and the narrower context of his show it is masterful satire.
Böhmermann introduced his “poem” by saying that he would demonstrate the limits of what is acceptable by the standards of German law by violating them completely.
Rough literal translation:
“stupid, cowardly and uptight
that’s Erdogan, the president
His junk smells of döner
pig’s farts smell nicer
He hits girls while wearing rubber masks
His favourite sports are f** goats and discriminating minorities
Kicking Kurds and beating Christians, while watching child pornography.
In the evenings, instead of sleeping
Blow jobs with hundreds of sheep
Erdogan is a president with a very small dick.
All the Turks say: The stupid bitch has shrivelled balls.
From Ankara to Istanbul everyone knows this man is gay
Perverted, lice infested, zoophilic …
His head as empty as his balls
The star of every gang bang party
Until his dick hurts when he pees
That is Recep Erdogan, the Turkish president”
This was another opportunity for Erdogan to stay calm and not react. That would have made Böhmermann look like a complete fool and Erdogan like “the better man” in the eyes of the German public. And that would have been that.
I am of course aware that Erdogan’s main concern is not how the German public sees him, but if he thinks that his constituency will think better of him for getting into petty fights with foreign schoolyard bullies, I really hope and would guess that he is wrong.
This theatre only makes sense if it is mainly for the Turkish community in Germany. Divide for now, conquer later…
Well, Erdogan did not “keep his cool” and made this a serious political affair. ZDF has caved-in to some extend and removed the video from their website.
The law, that allows foreign governments to sue people in Germany for insulting high-ranking representatives, states that persecution requires the German government’s consent.
It will not come as a surprise that Teflon-Merkel would not take sides.
It’s with the courts now…
Russian aggression against NATO peacekeepers
Hardly a week goes by without a new story about reckless military action by
Russian pilots endangering NATO peacekeeping forces. It happens
everywhere and they attack everything.
If the Russians do not stop their aggressive posturing this might very well end in an unfortunate event with serious consequences…
SPIEGEL dutifully reports but not everyone buys it:
Here are the first comments:
1.)What is the big deal? In Top Gun this was an excellent manoeuvre. I cannot say if NATO aircraft cruise close to the Russian border. But if they do so with switched off transponders, it is no surprise that sooner or later someone comes to check on them.
2.)Actually NATO is concentrating troops in the east. It is understandable that Russia wants to keep an eye on that. I would try not to fall for every provocation and put cheap but effective measures in place without getting too involved. In my opinion NATO just provokes reactions.
Multiple signals are sent. The signal to Russia is an unconcealed threat. The signal to the population at home is: Look at our fire brigade over here. Would we deploy it if there were no fire burning? It is important to ask which motives drive these actions.
3.)Eh – What business have the USA in the Baltic Sea again!? The Russians have a point there. Or does the Baltic Sea border on US territory? When they send their planes here they should not be surprised that the people who live here come to take a look…
4.)Always blind on one eye. Care to bet how many times the US violated Russian airspace during the cold war? Such approaches in neutral airspace are nothing by comparison. And then the cry for sanctions.
What about the US war in Iraq or the ongoing operations in Afghanistan, where German soldiers supposedly defend democracy?
Actually it was the USA who supplied the Talibans with weapons in the first place. Ergo, this is just about geopolitical strategic interests and Merkel faithfully follows in the US wake. Remember Schröder who did not participate in the Iraq war, much to America’s dislike. Not such a stupid vassal, but independently using his brain.
This is one more proof that Putin has crafted a very sophisticated army of internet trolls. But they cannot completely silence the voice of reason:
5.) They are welcome to try. But they will not succeed. It is dangerous to even try, because this might lead to a new Cold War. So, what good is this? Somehow there are always people who like rattling sabres. Luckily our elected representatives have been more or less reasonable so far.
I will not bore you with all the comments, but to give you a fuller picture here are some more:
We had him already (#2), but OK.
6.)More sanctions? What for? If there will be war, it will be because of the sanctions. Does anyone want that? Is that why there are ever more sanctions? Is that why troops are being concentrated in the east? Sanctions are a hostile act and they often result in war in the end. It is also remarkable that, at this stage already, there is an effort to involve as many nations as possible in this military posturing. What would you say if next the Chinese set up military bases next to EU borders?
7.)The Evil Russians – The Russians dare inspect a US warplane closing in on their borders. What exactly is the “Ami” doing over the Baltic Sea again? If the Russians were flying in the Caribbean Sea close to Cube and were intercepted by US fighters, there would be less of an outcry about US aggression. In my opinion this is primitive agitation for stupid people. The media should be unbiased in its reporting.
8.)What is the problem? – What is the purpose of this article? Everyone, including Russians and Chinese are allowed to operate in international airspace and waters – this is not a privilege of of US and NATO forces.
What would US forces do if a Russian jet or ship was found in the Golf of Mexico? This article is just trying to make Russians look bad – nothing more!! The Russians are on their toes, and have to be in my opinion. When will the propaganda against Russia stop???
9.)The Ephil Russian – has an eye on the forces conducting provocative manoeuvres on his borders. That is super ephil! Never ever have the USA committed any act of aggression against another country or nation. They are the proverbial angels of peace spreading their salvation all across the world.
10.) Thanks for the Kremlin propaganda – Good journalism is more than just repeating statements from Moscow. Is international airspace international or can Moscow dictate who is allowed to fly there? If one feels threatened, one should seek dialogue, but this sh*t is just Soviet “Bollerkram” (that is not a German word, it’s hard to say what it is supposed to mean. Probably something like overly bold boasting? – C)
Take away from that what you will.
As of this writing there are a total of 327 comments to this article. If you
understand German and have the stomach for it… Go for it.
Did I give you a decent overview of how Germans view this issue? I don’t think so.
Did I give you a decent overview of how Germans who read this article view this issue? I don’t think so.
Did I give you a decent overview at least of how the Germans who read this
article and commented on it, think about this? I don’t think so.
Did I translate the first ten comments, just because they were the first ten
comments? Yes, exactly.
But honestly, would I have taken the time to do so, if they had almost all been very critical of what I think to be true? I don’t think so.
Do you ever read the small print to headlines that make you sick?
Don’t do it. That is where we steal your souls…