Shame on German Chancellor Merkel For Succumbing to Erdogan’s Bullying

Harut Sassounian
Harut Sassounian

Harut Sassounian


It is bad enough that Turkish President Erdogan wants to sue a German comic for insulting him! It is much more outrageous for German Chancellor Angela Merkel allowing the lawsuit to go forward, based on a 19th century law!

Under this archaic law, anyone who offends a foreign leader can be sued in court after obtaining the consent of the German government. Erdogan now joins the dictatorial ranks of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran and Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet who had filed similar lawsuits in Germany.

Merkel, after initially defending the German citizen’s right to freedom of press and opinion, contrary to Turkey’s repressive laws, shamefully buckled under Erdogan’s threat to flood Europe with Syrian refugees, after accepting several billion dollars to block such migrants!

Merkel, Obama, and others don’t seem to understand that appeasing a bully only leads to more bullying. The best way to stop a bully is just to say ‘no!’ Naturally, Erdogan will throw a temper tantrum like a spoiled brat, make threats, and probably withdraw his ambassador! But, after a while, he will learn that he can’t impose his will outside of Turkey, and that the rest of the world will not meekly kowtow to his Sultanic diktats!

For several decades, American, British and Israeli leaders have made the same humiliating mistake of buckling under threats from Erdogan and his predecessors not to utter the words “Armenian Genocide.” Had these foreign leaders just said no on day one, they would have spared themselves years of escalating threats! Unfortunate, they have allowed the tail to wag the dog!

Merkel, has now gone down the slippery slope of appeasing the Turkish bully. She has made the gross misjudgment that by allowing the prosecution of the German satirist, she has bought Erdogan’s friendship! The German Chancellor will soon face new demands from the Turkish President on Syrian refugees and many other issues, such as next month’s scheduled vote in the Bundestag on the Armenian Genocide which has already been postponed several times under earlier Turkish threats.

Merkel’s unwise and undemocratic move may cause a split in her “grand coalition” government. Thomas Oppermann, the parliamentary leader of the center-left Social Democrats, criticized her decision, urging the Chancellor to repeal the antiquated law. Foreign heads of state should not enjoy special rights to sue German citizens, Oppermann warned.

Two influential ministers in Merkel’s government also announced their opposition to her decision. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Justice Minister Heiko Maas declared: “The freedom of opinion, media and culture are the highest treasures of our Constitution.”

Furthermore, two-thirds of the German public opposes Merkel’s decision to try the satirist, according to a recent survey. In the last few days, her popularity fell from 56% to 45%. According to another survey, 66% of the respondents oppose the prosecution of the satirist, while only 22% support it. The German newspaper ZDF, which posted the satirist’s video on Erdogan, has promised its full legal support during the investigation.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also criticized Erdogan’s unacceptable overreaction. Juncker vowed not to compromise on European values in order to preserve the recently struck deal with Ankara to stem migrant flows, according to the Turkish Hurriyet newspaper. “I cannot understand at all that a German ambassador has been summoned for an admittedly difficult satirical song,” Juncker stated on April 13. “That does not bring Turkey closer to us. It will put us farther away from each other.”
According to the New York Times, Erdogan has filed almost 2,000 lawsuits in Turkey against those he accuses of insulting him. The Turkish President has already brought a private lawsuit in a German court against the satirist, who could face a three-year jail term or an unspecified fine, if found guilty.
Satirist Jan Bohmermann, in his sarcastic poem, made references to sex with goats and oppressing minorities. He called Erdogan “dumb as a post, cowardly and uptight” and “perverse, lice-ridden… kicking Kurds, beating Christians, all the while watching child porno films.”
No matter how insulting the poem may be, the writer should have the right to express his opinion freely. It is one thing for Erdogan, the dictatorial leader of a third world country, to repress the media. It is completely a different matter for the head of a major Western European democracy to side with the Sultan of a fascist Middle Eastern state. In this regard, Merkel’s transgression is much worse than Erdogan’s!

Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.


  1. State of Emergency said:

    It’s no mistake and it have absolutely nothing to do with appeasing a bully. All those countries you cite have economical/security gains to consider. The world is not as simple as you wish it to be.

  2. Vahe Apelian said:

    Counter Points:

    If there is any salvation for Europe from the threats by extremists, it is and will be its enforcement of the rule of the law, no matter what and however costly it is.

    At times I think that we as Armenian Americans over react when we have strict understanding and rules against uttering words that appear insulting a person’s physical disabilities, skin color, religion, race, sexual orientation. Speaking has become a learned art in America and one can only ignore it at his or her own peril.

    The German government had no other recourse when it has such a law on their book. The Chancellor has stated her government would move to repeal the controversial law by 2018.i

    In abiding by the rule of their law, the German government has not succumbed to Erdogan’s bullying and it’s too early to formulate an opinion. The German courts have not spoken yet.

    • Alex Postallian said:

      Vahe: Quit blinking,she is appeasing all the imported jerks(turks),cheap labor, they immigrated,now sorry they did…jerks are rabble-rousers,improperly ruled by decent politicians……YOUR WELCOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. MGL said:

    Next for Merkel is to become muslin. What a POS driving Germany today. But at the same time Germany as a country was always against Armenia supporting Turkish animals and was the main sponsor of Armenian genocide.

  4. Sylva~MD~poetry said:

    I Wonder…Can Any Satiric Song Kill a Bird ?

    “The Satiric Sultan…needs Satiric Verse”
    Awaking him from his savage dreams…
    He wants to invade Europe by sending Syrians there.”
    He destroyed their land…through many ways…

    I ask every human…
    ”Can any satiric lyric kill even a bird?”

    Criminal Erdo gun down Hrant Dink, Armenian journalist in 2007…
    Who was asking only…PEACE… no more…
    And he killed many Kurdish human right lawyers…
    He is bombing innocent Kurds every day.

    He destroyed Syria …
    And put his flag on Iraqi land…to invade…
    Stealing their oil with his son Bilal…

    Just recently…Erdo locked the door of the St. Garabed Church ––
    The only Armenian Church in Western Armenia (so-called Turkey)
    It was repaired few years ago by dedicated people and
    by Kurdish Mayer, Demirtas… whose mother is Armenian …
    And Erdo tried to kill him… Anyone knows…?

    I wonder…can a song kill anyone ?
    What is this unfairness on Jan Bohmermann?
    You’re giving this savage, satiric sultan
    More chance to kill and destroy churches more and more,
    Where after the genocide of 1915…
    Seljuk -Turks destroyed 2600 of them and modified some
    To Turkish temples not mosques…
    [the true Sunni Muslims are not allowed to change Churches to Mosques,
    by order from caliph Umar Ibn Khattab (583-644) of the 7th century]

    If this man…wins this case… he will be another tyrant …
    like the three pashas: Anwar, Jamal, Talat …
    they were not only tyrants they where butchers; Arabs called them “saffah”.
    when Jamal hanged Arab literates in May 6, 1916
    This tyrant man will invade countries…reaching Germany to genocide many…

    Please … Stop-… Stop-… Stop- … insulting the singer’s soul…
    Who insults any gifted comedian like Jan…
    Who pleases people, is unborn yet.

    April 13, 2016

  5. Raffi said:

    Erdogan broke the decency backbone of Merkel and all EU by giving in to his blackmail

  6. Sylva~MD~poetry said:

    I agree with your article,
    Our Dear, Great, Dedicated, Hearty Harut …
    The Son of Sassun

    Merkel is a human dealing with illiterates…
    There is a famous proverb which says …
    “When you can’t cut a criminal hand, kiss and rest …”

    She has four million Turks in her state.
    How can she cut their tongues and hands
    and teach them how to behave?

    I’m sure… she will show at the end
    That freedom will definitely prevail
    Yes… it will prevail …

    April 20, 2016

  7. Greg said:

    Let them just live together in their own misery. After all, the Germans had an instrumental role in the armenian genocide as they supplied most of the gargling guns and other modern weaponry to the ottoman empire during the genocide.

  8. Masis said:

    I agree with what our stance on bullying should be. I reviewed his poem. I think the Armenian community should circulate the piece through the world, not necessarily that we wish to promote foul language, but only to stiffle the objectives of a bully. Mass e-mails, paper mails, etc would be the way to go.

  9. Alex Postallian said:

    In WW1,the jerks(turks) were part of the Axis,Germany/Austria,after being soundly defeated on two fronts,they faltered,on their knees,begged to join the Allies…..Then ,they decided to antagonize little Armenia,1/50th its size…. merle the jew is a joke….