Angela Merkel's German government has allowed a request from "thin-skinned" Recep Tyyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, to prosecute a German comedian for mocking the foreign head of state.
This allowance of the Turkish request therefore represents a new low to freedom of speech in Germany and it has appropriately led to the government seeking to repeal the said old law that forbids insulting foreign heads of state - Paragraph 103 of the German Penal Code.
By law, as reported by the BBC-News earlier today, the German government must approve any use of of an article of the criminal code on insulting foreign leaders. Therefore, when the Erdogan complained of being insulted by the comic, Jan Boehmermann, who mocked Erdogan in a poem, Germany's approval to allow the inquiry became a mere formality.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has now announced the approval of the Turkish request and she has stressed that the German courts will have the final say in the matter as to whether or not the comic's words are protected speech or amount to an insult of a foreign head of state. German prosecutors must now decide whether or not to prosecute comic Jan Boehmermann. Whatever the decision, Merkel has said that the government would now seek to repeal from German law, the article that led to the inquiry.
President Erdogan's insistence on prosecution of the German comic's satire is common of his recent emotions, sentiments,efforts and actions in Turkey to minimize all criticisms of himself and his ambitions for greater authoritarian control in Turkey.
With the European Union(EU), including Germany, desperately in need of Erdogan's cooperation on the continent's migrant crisis, the Turk's request signifies yet another attempt by Erdogan to become beyond rebuke. His motives and quests must be rejected. Though he remains a strategic and valuable member of NATO, he is rebukable - he is rebukable for rights and speech issues in Turkey, he is rebukable for censoring Turkey's largest daily newspaper, he is rebukable for rights restrictions on social media in Turkey.
So, maybe German prosecutors will do the right thing and not prosecute a comic for exercising his freedom of speech, and hereby send Erdogan a strong message that to play on the world stage requires a "thick skin" like that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had.