Merkel Facing Political Rebellion After Caving To Erdogan
Last week’s decision by Angela Merkel to allow a Turkish criminal complaint against a German comedian is now causing serious problems within her coalition. As a reminder, German comedian Jan Bohmermann faces up to five years in prison for performing a satirical poem directed at President Erdogan.
The backlash has been intense against the German Chancellor as many claim this is an outrageous infringement of free speech, and to add insult to injury, it’s being used simply to placate Erdogan who already has strained relations with the German people over the Syrian refugee crisis. As theTelegraph reports, Merkel is now facing a government rebellion over her decision.
Justice Minister Heika Maas has already drawn up legislation that would abolish the law used to prosecute Bohmermann, in hopes of getting it passed before the case can even come to court
Two of the party’s most senior ministers, Mr Maas and Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the foreign minister, held their own press conferences immediately after the announcement to allow the case in which both disowned the decision. Also, Merkel’s main coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD) have also broken with convention and made it clear the SPD opposes the decision to prosecute.
Additionally, the case couldn’t have moved forward without Mrs. Merkel’s approval, and as the Telegraph points out, there was already precedence in the matter. Requests made on behalf of President George W. Bush and Pope Benedict XVI had already been rejected by previous governments.