Turkey's Erdogan seeks total ban on German comedian's poem

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seeking a complete ban on a poem he deems defamatory by German comedian Jan Boehmermann, Der Spiegel magazine reported Saturday.

In May, a court in the northern German port city of Hamburg issued an injunction prohibiting Boehmermann from reciting parts of the lewd poem that insulted Erdogan.

Erdogan's lawyer Michael-Hubertus von Sprenger has filed an appeal in a Hamburg district court, the magazine reported. A court spokesman could not confirm receipt of the appeal to dpa and Erdogan's lawyer could not immediately be reached.

The poem - which was aired on March 31 by German public broadcaster ZDF - satirized some of Erdogan's authoritarian policies, but also described him as someone who watches child pornography and performs sex acts with animals.

The Hamburg court ruled in May that while Boehmermann's poem was satirical and therefore subject to artistic freedom, it contained sexual references about Erdogan that were "slanderous and defamatory."

The court said its decision was based on balancing freedom of opinion and artistic expression on the one hand and the personal rights of the plaintiff on the other.

Von Sprenger told Der Spiegel that Boehermann did not create the "artwork," and therefore cannot fall back on artistic freedom. He said the comedian had said in an interview with Zeit magazine that he did not write the poem, which he took off the internet.

The poem triggered a diplomatic spat between Germany and Turkey.

Poem (english translation) Erdogan and Böhmermann 

Last update: Sat, 02/07/2016 - 14:20

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