Turkish President Erdogan Now Demands Injunction Against German Media Boss For Saying He Laughed At Anti-Erdogan Poem

from the give-it-a-rest,-erdogan dept

Every time you think that the thin-skinned, insecure freakouts of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan can’t get any more crazy, they do. If you don’t recall, Erdogan has a notrious thin skin, and a long history of censorship of views he doesn’t like. But since becoming President, this has gone into overdrive, with him filing over 1800 cases against people in Turkey for insulting him — including the famous case in which someone passed around an internet meme comparing Erdogan to Gollum.

That kind of nuttiness jumped international boundaries recently, when Erdogan’s lawyers discovered a long-forgotten German law that made it illegal to insult the head of a foreign country, and demanded that the law be used against a satirical German comedian, Jan Bohmermann, who purposefully read an insulting poem about Erdogan, in order to mock his thin skin. Some might find suing over that poem to be… well… a bit on the nose in making the point the poem was intended to make. But, to Erdogan, it appears that suing over insults is just something he can’t stop doing. More recently, Erdogan discovered that Switzerland has a similar law and went after people there too (while also getting a Dutch reporter arrested).

Apparently, the fact that the most commonly mocked aspect of Erdogan these days is his inability to handle people mocking him hasn’t made Erdogan realize that the more he freaks out, the more people are going to mock him. His latest move is especially crazy. It appears that the CEO of German mega-publishers Axel Springer, Mathias Dopfner, wrote an “open letter” in support of Bohmermann, which stated that he “laughed out loud” at Bohmermann’s poem, and suggested that the case against Bohmermann is a problem for free speech. This is obviously a reasonable opinion held by many.

Erdogan’s response? Apparently, it’s to use the same law that was used against Bohmermann, to demand an injunction against Dopfner for publishing the letter, in order to get it taken down. Thankfully, this request was quickly rejected by a German court, saying that the open letter was “a contribution to building public opinion in a controversial debate.”

Erdogan and his lawyer, Ralf Hocker, seem to only want to double down on this. In one article he says (prior to the injunction being denied) that if it were denied, he would appeal the decision to a higher court. And Hocker has some weird ideas about free speech and human dignity:

?Mr Erdogan is a human being and human dignity is inviolable,? Hocker said, adding that this was placed above the freedom of press, art and opinion in the German constitution.

Uh, no. Dignity is very much violable. If you do something that trashes your own dignity. Like suing comedians for making a joke about you. Or suing nearly 2,000 other people for making jokes about you. The loss of dignity is not from the poem or the insults. It’s from Erdogan’s own actions.

In the NY Times link above, Hocker, makes some even more ridiculous statements:

Ralf Hocker, a lawyer representing Mr. Erdogan in Germany, said he had a mandate to seek an injunction against anyone who publicly insults the Turkish president, to try to stop what he described as an ?avalanche? of scornful abuse.

?Everyone thinks they are allowed to insult Mr. Erdogan in any way that they want because they do not find him very sympathetic,? Mr. H?cker said. ?But this is not about sympathy, it is about human dignity, namely to protect it.?

Of course, seeking an injunction against people mocking Erdogan for trying to silence all this criticism isn’t going to stop the avalanche. It’s just going to make it bigger. And, no, the reason people think they are allowed to insult Mr. Erdogan is because they believe in freedom of expression and that Erdogan has done things worthy of scorn. Stop doing those things — like suing people over meaningless jokes — and the scorn goes away. And, again, suing over “protecting human dignity” seems like an odd way to improve your dignity.

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Comments on “Turkish President Erdogan Now Demands Injunction Against German Media Boss For Saying He Laughed At Anti-Erdogan Poem”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

A re-make of a tale for a more modern audiece: 'The Emperor's New Dignity'

Much like the emperor from the tale who so objected to the one person willing to tell him what his new ‘clothes’ really looked like, Erdogan lashes out against those that he hasn’t cowed into silence to defend his non-existent dignity.

I imagine this is due to two factors, the fact that he’s so thin skinned you’d need unbelievably precise scientific instruments to even measure the thickness of his skin, and because he’s a bully who enjoys being able to make people miserable by playing the ‘I’m the president, you can’t make fun of me’ card.

Anonymous Coward says:

it wont be long before the EU realises that it has shot itself completely in both feet for making a deal with Turkey. Erdogan seems to have ideas above his station and the attitude that another long dead leader who tried to instill his will on the rest of the world! if the EU lets Turkey join the EU as a full member, it will really regret that decision!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

In other news Davutoglu has resigned from being the leader of Erdogans party and as prime minister of Turkey. Unofficially as a result of disagreement with the holyness Erdowo.

Particularly because of Davutuglus much more cooperative approach and the official status of Turkey as a parliamentary democracy – Erdowo wants that changed – most foreign leaders have spoken to him in negotiations.

Now Turkey is left with quite the choice: Erdogan or chaos. The opposition is in shambles and the press is, shall we call it, tamed. I see a dark immediate future for Turkey…

The bid for accession to EU is mostly a wet dream outside any foreseeable future (20+ years). Be aware that Turkey will have to get no vetos against joining EU, by the EU-memberstates. Right now I expect at least 1/4 of the EU-countries straight up vetoing without negotiation and a lot of uphill battles for most other countries to accept Turkey in. Getting less than 10 % of the negotiations opened for discussion is merely symbolic.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

No, crazy as he is he’s still got a long way to go to unseat North Korea’s delightful nutjob from the ‘Craziest Leader of State’ award, and historically I’m dead certain there have been plenty that make Erdogan look positively sane and reasonable in comparison for just suing people who say mean things about him.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Good points. I had mental constraints on my selection set that I should’ve stated: I was only thinking about current leaders, and of those only ones that are able to interact with the rest of the world in ways that go beyond imaginary doomsday machines and mushroom-based sports beverages (although damn, that stuff sounds bad enough to be good, like kefir or sweetbread). I thought about Putin, but the whole ‘Bond Villain’ thing is just (mostly?) PR. There are other lunatics as well, but their brands of crazy don’t leave ‘evil psychopath’ territory long enough to be amusing.

And honestly, I was just going for the cheap joke.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I disagree. While I don’t mean to suggest he is on the verge of being as crazy as the Dear Loon, I would suggest that the distance is very much shorter than you might think. And especially once he gets actual power and not just pretend power like on a TV show. Or people who pretend to bow and scrape simply because of money.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Look at his speech at the 2015 celebrations of the conquest of Constantinople.

(Text is here

Frankly in the modern world you would expect a leader to be apologising for this event (like the Pope apologising for the Crusades) – not celebrating it.

Frankly the speech reminded me (at the risk of Godwin) more of Hitler than anyone else – not as mad as Kim Yung Un but maybe more dangerous.

Regret says:

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Per Erdogan’s own attorney, “human dignity is inviolable.” If that’s true, what’s the problem? Erdogan’s dignity cannot possibly be harmed:


1. prohibiting violation; secure from destruction, violence, infringement, or desecration:
an inviolable sanctuary; an inviolable promise.

2. incapable of being violated; incorruptible; unassailable:
inviolable secrecy.

DannyB (profile) says:

Dear Mr Erdogan

Dear Mr Erdogan

Let me kindly offer you a suggestion which might improve your life and make you a happier person.

You might be much happier if you were the Dear Leader of North Korea. Did you know that you can use any penalty you want if someone merely looks at you the wrong way? You don’t need an actual reason. And you can make up new laws on the fly. In fact, you don’t really even need laws. And everyone will just adore you.

And we’re not laughing at you. I swear. No, really.

bugmenot (profile) says:

mocking the criminally insane erdogan !

as per the subject….

is it right to mock the criminally insane erdogan ! ;o)

“JULY 7, 2015
Mr. Erdoğan claimed that Muslim explorers reached the Moon more than 300 years before the beginning of the Appolo program, vowing to build a mosque “in the crater” where they landed.

“It is alleged that the first man to walk on the moon was Neil Armstrong in 1969,” Erdoğan said. “In fact, Muslim space explorers reached our satellite 334 years before that, in 1635.”

Anonymous Coward says:

I’ve been soooo tempted to study certain aspects of Turkish history and culture just to post the most vile ridicule of this POS Erdogan in multiple sections on Turkey-oriented Craigslist site. Call it a Streisand-Schadenfreude op.

But I can see the day, in my lifetime, when globalist insanity could mean Erdogan could issue a warrant and have me shipped off from America to Turkey for prosecution. Oh yeah, it’s coming.

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