It doesn’t take much to piss off Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but when someone outside of his own country releases something that angers him, he can’t easily throw them in jail. So what did he do when German broadcaster NDR released a satirical video about him? He summoned Germany’s Ambassador for a shamming.
The video that set off the thin-skinned leader of Turkey has quickly spread across the internet after the summoning of Ambassador Martin Erdmann was made public on Tuesday, and NDR has kindly added English and Turkish subtitles so the world can join in on the fun. Erdogan must be fuming.
So why is Erdogan so upset about the video? Aside from the fact that it highlights his most demeaning qualities, he has no control over its release. If it was done by someone in his own country, Erdogan would be able to put an end to the video and throw those involved in jail, which is something the video itself brings to full attention.
Erdogan is known to silence anyone that annoys or speaks out against him. Since taking office 18 months ago, Turkish prosecutors have taken on almost 2,000 cases against academics, media personalities and even school children that have criticized him in even the slightest fashion. Most cases have resulted in jail sentences.
That in itself is enough to lead to foreign criticism, but when NDR’s satirical show extra3 released their video poking fun of Erdogan on March 17, the motive went deeper.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, featured shaking hands with Erdogan in the video, has received some criticism herself as she has been actively seeking closer ties with Turkey, including spearheading a controversial European Union (EU) deal that would offer political and financial rewards for the country if it helped halt illegal migration into other European countries.
Turkey has also been in discussions to become the latest country to become a part of the EU, a controversial decision in itself.