Do you remember the song from the school playground all those many moons ago? It went, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Well, they might not hurt you, but if enough people are exposed to them, they could have the desired effect, and that is one reason why Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned Germany’s ambassador last week.
Kurdish civilians are being targeted by the Turkish army, journalists imprisoned and sometimes “dying in suspicious circumstances”, the media is being brought to heel, there is a great deal of evidence that Turkey is working with ISIS, and EU is being blackmailed, as Erdogan marches clumsily towards his Neo-Ottoman empire.
That is why it is good that here in Germany a mass audience has been exposed to a little song that sums it all up succinctly by referring to the imprisonment of opposition journalists, the severe government response to protesters, and the accusation that Ankara rather than opposing ISIS is only interested in suppressing Kurds both at home and in Syria.
However, there is another reason why the satirical little song on the German television station NDR has led to the German ambassador to Turkey being summoned and reportedly ordered by the Turkish government to have the video deleted from the internet. It would appear that lèse majesté doesn’t stop at Edirne. .
That can only be bad news for, with Bekir Bozdag, the Turkish Justice Minister, saying that “at least 1,845 cases” of alleged insults toward Erdogan have been opened in the past two years, it would appear that the “Boss from the Bosphorus” does appear to bear a grudge against anyone who opposes him. Moreover this egomaniac is willing bury democracy in his homeland and to see the Middle East go up in flames on the altar of his own self-aggrandizement.
Therefore, rather than pandering to a “sick man’s” whims, it is time to swallow some hard medicine. The EU cannot allow itself to be blackmailed by Turkey. Furthermore, as was stated in an earlier post, if Erdogan’s Turkey has a European future, Europe has no future, other than one where “war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength”. That is why it is important for the German government to take an official stance vis-à-vis Erdogan’s latest tantrum.
The video, with English subtitles,has been inserted above. It might be noted that the NDR Extra 3 satire programme has also targeted Donald Trump, Poland’s right-wing government, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán and Bavaria’s Horst Seehofer, and numerous others. It would appear, however, that the “Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdowahn” song shows that Erdogan doesn’t understand the function of satire, or how a free press functions, in a democracy. Well, he wouldn’t would he?