The publisher of widely-read German tabloid Bild unleashed mass confusion on social media Wednesday when he posted an interview with Jan Boehmermann, the satirist facing criminal proceedings for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"I see no boundary between the man and the satirist," Kai Diekmann cited Boehmermann as saying in an interview he posted on Facebook, before revealing it was a work of fiction. "All of life is satire. One just has to recognize it."

Boehmermann, the host of late night talk show Neo Magazin Royale, cancelled all public appearances after authorities said they had launched a preliminary investigation into him for a video in which he accused the Turkish leader of watching child porn and performing sex acts with animals.

Prosecutors in the western city of Mainz said they were probing whether Boehmermann's poem, aired with Turkish subtitles on March 31, violates a law criminalizing insults against foreign heads of state. The government still needs to officially authorize the proceedings.

Erdogan has since filed a defamation complaint against Boehmermann, prompting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday to defend freedom of speech in Germany and downplay Ankara's political influence over Berlin as the two work together on implementing a controversial EU-Turkey migration deal.

Diekmann's fake interview has garnered more than 4,000 likes and 1,500 shares in the four hours since being posted on Facebook.

Latest news

Greece's creditors want sweeping reforms before next bailout payment

Greece must make sweeping reforms to its labour market, pension system and collective bargaining agreements in order to receive its next vital bailout payment, the country's European creditors said Monday.

President wants to recall "politically appointed ambassadors", can't do it without gov't

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said that many politically appointed Croatian ambassadors were not carrying out state policies but that she could not replace them without the government to appoint career diplomats who would fight for Croatia's interests.

Izetbegovic hopes ICJ will confirm Serbia's responsibility for genocide

The Bosniak member of the tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, on Monday rejected criticism stirred up by the announcement that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would be requested to review its judgement made after Bosnia sued Serbia for genocide.

British lawmakers locked in heated debate over Trump's state visit

Allowing US President Donald Trump to visit Britain would be akin to "pimping out the Queen," one British lawmaker said Monday during a heated debate in British parliament over two petitions concerning the US leader's future state visit.

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's sharp-tongued ambassador to the UN, dies

Russia's long-time ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died in New York on Monday, following a career that spanned four decades and saw Russia emerge from the Soviet Union and experience many turbulent events in its relations with the West.

French police raid National Front over European Parliament payments

France's far-right National Front Monday said that investigators had searched its offices in relation to allegations that it misused European Parliament funds.

Unhappy Presidents' Day: Trump still manoeuvring after Sweden comment

Donald Trump used his first Presidents' Day in office to continue trying to talk his way out of comments implying a terrorist attack in Sweden that never happened.

Croatia supports Kosovo's territorial integrity - Grabar-Kitarovic

Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Monday expressed the support to Kosovo's territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic aspirations during her talks with the visiting Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj.

Petrov rules out early parliamentary election

Parliament Speaker and Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov on Monday dismissed speculation about a reshuffle of the parliamentary majority, saying an early election was likelier, but that right now he did not see "such a scenario."

First local elections in 20 years to be held in Nepal on May 14

Nepal's government announced the dates for forthcoming local elections on Monday, nearly 20 years after polls were last held for municipalities and village councils in the country.

US Defence Secretary: We are not in Iraq to seize Iraqi oil

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday that the United States does not intend to seize Iraqi oil, in reference to comments made by President Donald Trump last month.

Bryan Adams to play Zagreb

Canadian rock star Bryan Adams, who has sold more than 100 million albums in his 40-year-long career, will perform in Zagreb on November 9, according to his website and Facebook account.