Germany grants Turkish request to allow for possible prosecution of comedian who joked about Erdogan

The German government has granted a Turkish request to allow the possible prosecution of a TV comedian who wrote a crude poem about Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Ankara has demanded to have comedian Jan Boehmermann prosecuted for insulting a foreign head of state.

Under a section of Germany’s criminal code, the government has to authorize prosecutors to pursue a case against the comedian.

“There were different opinions between the coalition partners – the conservatives and the SPD (Social Democrats),” Merkel told reporters at the Chancellery in Berlin.

“The outcome is that the German government will give the authorization in the current case,” she added.

Boehmermann read the poem on Germany’s ZDF television two weeks ago. Although the broadcaster withdrew the piece from its archives, it said that no laws were broken.

However, Boehmermann warned ahead of time that the reading would breach regulation on insulting foreign leaders.

The Turkish government says the poem accused Erdogan of “repressing minorities, kicking Kurds, and slapping Christians while watching child porn.”