Erdogan video enflames diplomatic issue between Ankara, Berlin

Berlin, March 30 (IANS/EFE) A satirical video of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, aired by German public regional television, has provoked diplomatic tension between the two countries and a new debate on respect for freedom of expression and press freedom in Turkey.

According to the weekly Der Spiegel, the German ambassador in Ankara, Martin Erdmann, was summoned last week by the Turkish foreign ministry, and several media outlets citing diplomatic sources pointed out that he was asked expressly about the airing of the video in question.

The German foreign ministry has made no comment so far and the opposition parties — the Greens and the Left — criticised on Tuesday the silence that is directly linked to the recent agreement between the European Union and Turkey for the repatriation of asylum seekers arriving in Greece.

The controversial video, just two minutes long, was aired last week in the satirist ‘extra-3’ programme on NDR television.

The video criticises attacks on freedom of expression, journalists and opposition in Turkey with images of Erdogan, demonstrations and violent police interventions in the country, and also meetings between the Turkish president and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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