Song mocking Erdogan sparks Turkish-German diplomatic row
A song lampooning Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was broadcast on a German public television satirical show has sparked a diplomatic spat between Berlin and Ankara.
Turkey last week summoned Germany's ambassador to protest the two-minute clip "Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan", which ridicules the president, his alleged extravagant spending and crackdown on civil liberties.
The song's German-language lyrics charge, among other things that "a journalist who writes something that Erdogan doesn't like/ Is tomorrow already in jail".
The same TV show has previously poked fun at German neo-Nazis with their own rendition of Harry Belafonte's The Banana Boat Song, in which they sing "neo-Nazis you better go home."
A Turkish diplomatic source confirmed on Tuesday that his country had demanded the satirical video be taken off air.
Alluding to the government's military crackdown against the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the song charges says of Erdogan: "He hates the Kurds like the plague /And prefers to bomb them rather than the religious brothers from Islamic State."
The Turkish government vehemently denies that the crackdown targets Turkey's Kurdish minority, saying it is only aimed at wiping out "terrorists".
The satirical show fired back at Ankara on Tuesday, publishing a framed picture of Erdogan on its Twitter feed and declaring him its "Employee of the Month".
The editor-in-chief of NDR television, Andreas Cichowicz, said Turkey's diplomatic protest was "not consistent with our understanding of freedom of the press and freedom of speech".
Several diplomats from EU member states, including the German envoy, last week attended the trial of two journalists facing espionage charges, drawing the ire of Erdogan who accused the diplomats of overstepping their powers.
Using a hugely controversial legal article, almost 2,000 people have been prosecuted for "insulting" Erdogan since the former premier became president in August 2014.