17:24 GMT +323 January 2020
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    The co-chair of the Green Party's parliamentary group in the German parliament, Anton Hofreiter, called German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow a probe into a German comedian's disparaging remarks about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "political mistake".

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow a probe into a German comedian's disparaging remarks about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a political mistake, which shows that German-Turkish diplomatic relations are more important than freedom of speech, the co-chair of the Green Party's parliamentary group in the German parliament, Anton Hofreiter, said Friday.

    On April 8, Ankara demanded that Berlin prosecute German comedian Jan Boehmermann for reciting a controversial poem about the Turkish leader on German TV. Germany sanctioned a lawsuit filed by Erdogan against the comedian earlier in the day.

    "I think the decision of Merkel in this form is a political mistake. Now she must live with accusations that the deal with Turkey [on curbing the refugee influx] has become more important to her than the freedom of speech," Hofreiter told the N24 broadcaster.

    The German lawmaker added that Merkel had set herself a trap by politicizing the case.

    Berlin’s decision to allow the probe was based on paragraph 103 of the German Criminal Code that forbids insulting foreign government institutions and officials. According to Merkel, the German government is expected to present a draft law to abolish the legislation to press for more media freedom.


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    Jan Boehmermann, Anton Hofreiter, Angela Merkel, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, Germany
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