News ID: 139424
Published: 0700 GMT April 12, 2016

Germany stresses freedom of art after Turkey's complaint against comedian

Germany stresses freedom of art after Turkey's complaint against comedian

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday Germany wanted to find a solution to the migrant crisis but this was separate to artistic freedom after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan filed a complaint against a comedian for insulting him with a satirical poem.

The public prosecutor's office in Germany's western city of Mainz said Erdogan had filed the complaint via lawyers against Jan Boehmermann for insulting him. Boehmermann is the host of the late-night "Neo Magazin Royale" on the public ZDF channel.

In a program broadcast on March 31, Boehmermann had recited a poem about Erdogan that contained crude sexual references and accusations that Erdogan repressed minorities and mistreated Kurds and Christians, Reuters reported.

"I want to stress again what was stressed yesterday - we have the fundamental values in the constitution and that includes Article 5, which is the freedom of opinion, freedom of science and of course the freedom of art," Merkel said when asked about the complaint Erdogan.

"Art and these fundamental values are valid regardless of any political problems we discuss with each other and that includes the refugee issue and I think Turkey and the European Union and so also Germany have an interest in finding a political solution on it," she added.

Merkel has spearheaded EU efforts to secure Turkey's help in dealing with Europe's migrant crisis so the Boehmermann comes at an awkward time for her.



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