German political leader arrested in Berlin for insulting Turkish president

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You didn’t quite get this right. He wasn’t insulting the Turkish president (at least not what’s shown in the video), we was publicly reading a “literary analysis” of the insulting poem. (The kind of analysis that’s performed in countless English/German and sociology studies.) What he said in the video had nothing insulting in it at all, he only talked about things like how attacking somebody’s sexuality in a poem can be used as a literary vehicle to attack somebody’s more ephemeral political power.


The post mentions this in the second paragraph. I would assume that any analysis would have to cite evidence of the original text, hence:

which is why he was detained?


Erdogan is not going to like the inevitable “Insult A Goat-Fucking Fascist for Solidarity” Day.


that poem is sure hard to find - here you go:öhmermann_said_english_translation/


It’s unclear on what grounds from the video. They something about using a microphone, so he offered to continue without using the microphone, but that was apparently not acceptable.

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We have a word for this in English. The word is disingenuous. I’m not sure if there’s a German equivalent. It is defined as “pretending this is only an innocent literary analysis, while reading aloud the offending poem, just coincidentally outside the Turkish embassy, perhaps not a place where many a literary analysis is read to the public.”

We have a tradition here of civil disobedience, which means breaking the law flagrantly to make a political point. When Dr. King or Gandhi did this, they did not pretend to be innocently minding their own business. They went to prison proudly. Pretending their political acts meant nothing would have made them mean nothing.


I don’t think you need to be overtly confrontational to get your message across. It can be quite satisfying to be in a circumstance where you can deny the obvious to escape consequences.

If someone in power has manipulated the system into giving them laws that are biased in their favor when you can then use other laws to your own advantage to spite them is a great morale boost.

If you can find a way around the law and rub in in their face then that’s a solid way to go.


It’s too bad he wasn’t trying to foist his tax burden onto the rest of the people of Germany by moving his income and/or investments to a tax haven. He probably would have gotten a medal from Merkel for that.


I have sympathy for both sides. Erdogan is making a peaceful settlement in Syria extremely difficult and his family has been accused of trading with Daesh. Why won’t the Turks allow a Kurdish state? Their claim to one seems at least as good as that of Israel. He needs to be called out.
But Germany has good reasons for its strict laws. It isn’t invoking Mike Godwin to point out why the Germans might want to limit attacks on other heads of State or have certain limitations on freedom of speech. The US hasn’t (yet) had a dictator who made wild accusations about the heads of other governments, described the peoples of other countries as belonging to inferior races that must be exterminated, victimised minorities and then wrecked his country in a disastrous war. One day, if the present political race to the bottom continues, you might get one, and then your perspective may change a bit.
Currently being Bundeskanzlerin is an extremely difficult job, perhaps the most difficult head of state job in the world, and I feel Dr. Merkel needs to be cut an awful lot of slack. The German legal system doesn’t look nearly as ridiculous as the British one does over publishing injunctions or the US one does over its interminable IP cases, and given the low cost of the German legal system, going through the courts is probably the best way to shut up Erdogan with the least harm done. Germany doesn’t suffer from grandstanding prosecutors and plea bargaining of near show trial proportions; it’s quite a different thing.


The main issue is that he violated a court order which allowed their protest in front of the Turkish embassy only under certain conditions, specifically including not reading from the poem. When he ignored that, the police dispersed the gathering and detained him. (Of course they didn’t really arrest him, but that sounds sexier.) So far he has not been charged with anything although he says he fears he might be.


That looks like a reference to something, but I have no idea what it might be.

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I was debating saying something like “it’s too bad he’s not a British politician about to be charged with money laundering” but I thought it might be too obtuse. That story was the result of people looking into David Cameron’s associations with tax havens.


But - isn’t the truth a defense against libel?

It’s not like someone’s accusing Erdrogan of not having unnatural congress with underage goats.


Ah, ok. It sounded like a statement about Merkel and I had no idea how that was supposed to make sense in this context.

I notice that the main source in the post is RT, that is to say Putin’s puke-funnel, and Putin has something of a vendetta against Merkel. So the description of the circumstances may not be entirely uncoloured.


The law is an ass?

He was detained in the context of the Lèse majesté law, according to the original article, which means it would be correct to say he was arrested for insulting Erdogan, even if he did not really insult him because it was a literary analysis. Inasfar as we all know this was a publicity stunt contrived to test the Lèse majesté law, though, the analysis was a public vehicle to repeat the insults in a context where “fair dealing” (fair use) is more obvious to laypersons.

This is presumably why he did it with a public address system outside the Turkish embassy.


Perhaps “unaufrichtig”?