Turkish President Erdogan has become the object of satire in Germany (oh, that it becomes so globally). Yet, in this, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel seems to be on her last legs:
A satirical poem targeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has become an affair of state. Chancellor Angela Merkel's handling of the crisis has been abysmal and shows that she is losing her grip on power.
This from Spiegel, the very “mainstream” opinion shaper in Germany (albeit, compared to the New York Times in the US, Spiegel might as well be LewRockwell.com).
The only one who really stands to lose is German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In fact, she has already lost. Despite the current focus on the satirist, Böhmermann himself is rather unimportant. The real issue is the chancellor's own power.
This isn’t the mouthpiece of the AfD party; it is Spiegel!
Many would say that Merkel's first and greatest error was that of opening Germany's borders to the refugees stuck in Budapest in September 2015.
Yet once she became aware of the anger within her own Christian Democratic Union, and within its Bavarian sister party, and once she realized that Europe -- particularly Eastern Europe -- was in no mood for solidarity, she tried to back step on the first mistake without losing the support of her new fans. She began working on a deal with the Turkish government that would allow her to keep the German borders open while reducing the numbers of refugees arriving.
The chancellor from the conservative party tried to keep her new-found supporters from the liberal party. She tried to have her cake and eat it, too. She cut a deal with Erdogan – as I recall, an additional EUR 3 billion to play gatekeeper toward the refugees that he has had a major hand in creating.
If only the Turkish president wasn't such a choleric bully!
One might call it a deal with the devil.
It is noteworthy that Erdogan's other, more serious transgressions are being largely overlooked in the current public perception:
This is done with every major political leader – at least those still in the favor of the Empire.
…his potentially corrupt dealings;
No need to qualify the term.
…his alleged support for Islamist terrorists;
No need to qualify the term.
…his bloody operations targeting the PKK, which are likely the product of domestic political calculations;
Countless non-combatant civilians being killed by their own government. Nothing new in Turkey.
…his meddling in the already difficult relationship with Russia;
If you call shooting down a Russian jet “meddling.”
…and most recently, his bellicose rhetoric surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
One more chance for Turks to try to wipe Armenians off of the face of the globe (and likely one more example of the Empire causing trouble on the frontiers of Russia; further, a great case study in decentralization, secession, property rights, and dealing with the mess of rectifying long-past wrongs. This is a subject I might explore soon).
And here, in this relatively preposterous affair, Merkel committed her third mistake. It is a mistake that could ultimately cost her the Chancellery.
Merkel apparently sought to take the wind out of Erdogan's sails by hastily having her spokesperson announce that the Böhmermann poem was "consciously injurious." She could have thrown her support unmistakably behind Böhmermann, as one might expect from a chancellor charged with defending the German constitution.
This is Spiegel, in case I forgot to mention this.
Yet by adopting Erdogan's viewpoint, she has essentially allowed him to determine what should be viewed as satire in Germany and what not.
Finally, a point on which I might hold a slightly different view. This seems to offer at least some evidence (in case you needed more) that the US is OK with whatever Erdogan is doing. For internal German political considerations, Merkel could easily have stood against Erdogan in this matter. Then again, maybe she fears that the EUR 3 billion deal could fall apart (as if it was going to “work” in the first place).
Erdogan, like the troll that he most certainly is…
I have nothing worth saying about this, other than it is a funny line. Maybe the editors of Spiegel will now go on trial.
And now, Germans aren't just wide awake. They are electrified.
The center of everything holding Europe (and the European project) together cannot hold. Financially, economically, politically, and geopolitically, Europe is in trouble.