Tuesday, June 21, 2016

German court rejects appeal by Erdogan over insults.

German court rejects appeal by Erdogan over insults. (PressTv).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lost an appeal in a German court, where he had demanded an injunction against a major German publisher over support its chief expressed for an insulting poem.

The appeals court in Cologne said Tuesday that it had upheld the ruling in May from the lower court, which rejected a preliminary injunction against Mathias Doepfner, the chief executive of newspaper publisher Axel Springer.

Erdogan sued Doepfner after the latter expressed his support for Jan Boehmermann, a German comedian who is being prosecuted for reading a poem against Erdogan on a German TV show in March.

The appeals court said Doepfner’s comments constituted acceptable expressions of opinion and were protected under Germany’s freedom of speech laws.

It said the verdict will be final and no further appeal could be made. Erdogan can, however, file a constitutional complaint although such complaints are seldom upheld.

Lawyers of Erdogan in Germany said they have yet to decide on the issue. They said a separate lawsuit could be filed against Doepfner.

Parts of the poem by Boehmermann was deemed insulting to Erdogan and a German court in May banned republication of 18 of 24 sections, saying they amounted to abuse and libel.

Doepfner wrote an open letter in German newspaper Welt am Sonntag in April, saying he “wholeheartedly” supported what Boehmermann had said.

Officials in the Axel Springer, Europe's largest newspaper publisher, said Doepfner “wanted to defend the freedom of art and satire in his open letter.”

Under pressure from Erdogan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed prosecutors to pursue a case against Boehmermann, triggering a backlash in the German media. Many criticized Merkel, saying she bowed to Erdogan’s pressure.

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