MERKEL MIGHT SELL OUT WHAT’S LEFT OF GERMANY’S FREEDOM OF SPEECH TO SUCK UP TO TURKEY

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From The Wall Street Journal:

In Berlin this week, top diplomats and aides to Ms. Merkel are huddling to plot a response to Turkey’s demand that Germany agree to a criminal investigation of the comedian, Jan Böhmermann, for reciting a crude poem on air about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Meanwhile in the Aegean Sea, migrant crossings from Turkey to Greece have slowed to a trickle—an early sign that Ms. Merkel’s hard-fought deal on migration with Mr. Erdogan is having an impact.

The confluence of events illustrates the tricky position of the European Union’s most powerful politician and her dependence on Mr. Erdogan. In an unusual bit of official media criticism, Ms. Merkel’s spokesman declared last week that the chancellor found Mr. Böhmermann’s poem to be “deliberately offensive.”

Under a rarely invoked German law that prohibits insults of foreign leaders, Germany’s government is required to decide whether to allow an investigation if one is demanded by the insulted government—a feature that differentiates the law from other German statutes and sets up Ms. Merkel for the conundrum she now faces. Turkey said on Monday that it was formally seeking a probe.

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