European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker believes Turkey’s summoning of Berlin’s ambassador over a song on German TV lampooning President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is out of line with EU democratic values, his spokeswoman said today (30 March).
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned German Ambassador Martin Erdmann on 22 March over a 2-minute satirical song aired on public broadcaster NDR’s “Extra 3” program, according to Spiegel Online.
The song’s music video, titled “Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdoğan,” (Erdo-why, Erdo-where, Erdoğan) juxtaposes images of Erdoğan with footage of police cracking down on protesters.
The lyrics lash out at Turkey’s tight grip on the press, saying, “A journalist that writes something that doesn’t suit Erdoğan is in jail tomorrow.”
This is yet another episode of tension with Turkey over media freedom. Turkey has protested over the presence and behaviour of consuls from EU member states at the controversial espionage trial of two journalists. But even more significantly, Juncker clashed with Erdoğan at the last EU summit on 18 March, defending Belgium from accusations by the Turkish president that the country hosting the EU institutions is supporting terror groups.
Turkey has protested over the presence and behaviour of consuls from EU states at the controversial espionage trial of two journalists, an official said yesterday (28 March), in an escalating spat between Ankara and its Western allies.
Asked if the European Commission was concerned about attempts by Turkey to intimidate free European media, Commission spokesperson Mina Andreeva said:
“President Juncker does not appreciate this movement of calling in the German ambassador just because of a satirical song. He believes that this moves further Turkey from the EU, rather than closer to us. He appreciates our cooperation and our shared interest in tackling common challenges. This move doesn’t seem to be in line with upholding the freedom of the press and freedom of expression, which are values the EU cherishes a lot.”
Ironically, the EU-Turkey relations are being “re-energised” following Germany’s attempt to obtain Ankara’s cooperation in stemming the flow of refugees to the Greek islands in the Aegean.
Happy with the advertising over the case, NDR’s “Extra 3” program has declared Erdoğan its “worker of the month”.
- Spiegel Online: "Extra 3"-Satire: Türkei zitiert deutschen Botschafter ins Außenministerium
- Deutsche Welle: Turkey summons German ambassador over satirical song