A diplomatic scandal has blown up between Ankara and Berlin over a German comedy show's satirical song about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish government decided to formally summon the German ambassador to the foreign ministry for a lengthy meeting to complain about the song.
Commenting on the absurdity of the situation, Toker told Sputnik Turkey that "it's impossible to call this anything other than a tragicomedy. The famous video did not contain any offensive content; it was pure irony, a satire on the anti-democratic rhetoric of the Turkish president."
The real joke, he suggested, is that the German ambassador was actually called to the Turkish foreign ministry and issued a note of protest. "This is a step which has no precedent in global diplomatic practice. In the modern world, such actions by Turkish authorities can trigger nothing but ridicule."
"Recently, in a discussion with my political opponents, I asked them to show me just one positive commentary [in relation to Turkey] from the last 4-5 years published in foreign media – whether from the Middle East, Europe or America, relating to the ruling party or the country's top leadership. There are none."
"All commentaries and analyses [about Turkey] contain criticism and condemnation of the actions of the Turkish leadership, which violates basic democratic principles, the freedom of the press, the freedom of speech."
Regrettably, the politician notes, the actions of the president and the ruling Justice and Development Party have led to a situation where "Turkey, unfortunately, is now perceived as a third world dictatorship, where widespread violations of human freedoms and human rights take place."