Turkey summons German envoy over 'anti-Erdogan' TV song
ANKARA - Turkey summoned Germany's ambassador to protest a two-minute song lampooning President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was broadcast on German television, a diplomatic source told AFP on Tuesday.
"We summoned the ambassador last week to communicate our protest about the broadcast that we condemned," the source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"We demanded that the broadcast is removed from the air."
German regional public television NDR on March 17 broadcast the sardonic song -- "Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan" -- ridiculing the Turkish president, his alleged extravagant spending and crackdown on civil liberties.
"A journalist who writes something that Erdogan does not like / Is tomorrow already in jail," said the German-language lyrics.
The song is set to the tune of German pop star Nena's 1984 love song "Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann" (Anyhow, Anywhere, Anytime) and was broadcast on the "extra 3" satirical TV show.
Alluding to the government's military crackdown against the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), it goes on to say: "He hates the Kurds like the plague / And prefers to bomb them rather than the religious brothers from Islamic State."
The government vehemently denies that the crackdown targets Turkey's Kurdish minority, saying it is only aimed at wiping out "terrorists".
The satirical show fired back on Tuesday, publishing a framed picture of Erdogan on its Twitter feed and declaring him its "Employee of the Month".
The editor-in-chief of NDR television, Andreas Cichowicz, said Turkey's diplomatic protest was "not consistent with our understanding of freedom of the press and freedom of speech".
Germany's foreign ministry did not reply to AFP's request for comment on the matter.
Erdogan's government has been accused by critics of authoritarianism and muzzling critical media as well as lawmakers, academics, lawyers and non-government groups.
EU heavyweight Germany sees Turkey as the bloc's main partner in tackling a wave of refugees landing at Europe's borders, with Chancellor Angela Merkel appealing for Ankara's help on the issue.
But Merkel has also said Germany will stick to its values and keep insisting on civil and minority rights in Turkey.
German news weekly Der Spiegel said this month it had to withdraw its Istanbul correspondent and charged that Turkey was violating the freedom of the press.
Several diplomats from EU member states, including the German envoy, last week attended the trial of two journalists facing espionage charges, drawing the ire of Erdogan who accused the diplomats of overstepping their powers.
Using a hugely controversial legal article, almost 2,000 people have been prosecuted for "insulting" Erdogan since the former premier became president in August 2014.