It seems Merkel wanted to kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand, Merkel desperately wants to keep her relationship healthy with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; but on the other hand, she can't afford an outrage by the German public, the magazine said.
"Erdogan's complaint put Merkel in a big embarrassing situation. If she rejected the demand of the Turkish president, she might have lost a key ally in controlling the flow of refugee to Europe. If she chose to agree [with Erdogan] she became an easy target for those blaming her for accommodating an authoritarian leader who repressing individual liberties and waging war against Kurds in his country," Slate Magazine said.
On March 31, German political satirist Jan Bohmermann broadcast an explicit poem about Erdogan during his comedy show on German public broadcaster ZDF.
Merkel's move has caused a public outcry in Germany. The Green Party's co-chair Anton Hofreiter called Merkel's decision to allow a probe into Bohmermann's remarks about Erdogan a "political mistake," accusing Merkel of putting Erdogan before the interests of the German public and freedom of speech.
Merkel ended up choosing the interests of Erdogan against the advice of the country's ministers of foreign affairs and justice.
"Angela Merkel accepted Erdogan's request," Slate said.
This attempt might be just a little too late and not enough to satisfy the German public, who cherishes the ideas of democracy and freedom of speech.
Meanwhile, when it comes to freedom of speech, things in Turkey are getting worse. Prosecutors in Turkey have opened more than 1,800 cases against people for insulting Erdogan since he became president in 2014, the justice minister said last month. Those targeted include journalists, cartoonists and even children. Many EU lawmakers have responded with criticism on those measures.