Erdogan fights for inquiry into German Tv comic to be reopened

Turkish president seeks to overturn German decision to halt investigation into Jan Bhmermann, who satirised him

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoan, has filed an appeal to contest a decision by German authorities to drop an investigation into a TV comic who satirised him, according to officials in Germany.

The public prosecutors office in Mainz, western Germany, said Erdoan had formally filed a request to have the decision overturned.

The suit was filed by Erdoans lawyer on Sunday, Mainz head prosecutor Andrea Keller said. The appeal would be handled by the general prosecutors office in Koblenz.

The episode has had a toxic effect on German-Turkish relations, casting a shadow over attempts to stem the influx of Syrian migrants arriving via Turkey.

It stems from a broadcast on Germans public TV channel ZDF in March by comedian Jan Bhmermann.

Bhmermann recited a so-called Defamatory Poem, satirically accusing of Erdoan of bestiality and paedophilia.

Bhmermann said the piece was a reaction to Ankaras decision to summon Germanys ambassador over another satirical song broadcast on German TV that lampooned Erdoan in far tamer language.

The comic acknowledged the poem was intended to provoke, and would flout Germanys legal limits to free speech.

But the poem did not go down well in Ankara and Erdoan filed a criminal complaint.

In April, Chancellor Angela Merkel authorised an investigation into whether Bhmermann could be convicted under rarely enforced 19th-century laws on lse-majest violating a sovereigns dignity a decision that earned her a rebuke from German rights groups.

The Mainz prosecutors announced on 4 October that they were scrapping the investigation as the satire was so exaggerated it could not be taken seriously.

There is no evidence that the accused was making a serious attack on the personal or social reputation of the Turkish president, they concluded.

German prosecutors are scheduled to rule next month on another aspect of Erdoans complaint, which calls for a ban on all further broadcasts of the poem.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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