Erdogan is now trying to silence one of Germany’s largest press moguls, Mathias Döpfner, the head of Alex Springer, who in an open letter last month praised comic Jan Böhmermann for his on-air performance denouncing the Turkish leader. Calling the performance a “work of art”, Döpfner said that he had “laughed out loud.” The Financial Times has detailed just how Ralf Höcker, Erdogan’s German lawyer, plans to pursue the case:
“If you look in the internet, loads of people are now trying to emulate Böhmermann, insulting Mr Erdogan in the worst way possible,” he said in an interview. “Anyone who does this must expect that we will take action against them.” […]
In a statement on Mr Höcker’s website, the company said a court in Cologne had ruled that the video produced by Mr Boll had resulted in personal injury to Mr Erdogan and issued an injunction preventing Mr Boll from repeating the insults that the video contained.
“It is like gang rape,” Mr Höcker said in the statement. “When one person starts, everyone creeps out of their holes and joins in . . . We must as a society be careful, when the thin veneer of civilisation flakes off and everyone’s inhibitions are shed. Mr Erdogan is a person, and human dignity is inviolable.”
Well, that seems like a balanced reaction.
We’re now over a month into Erdogan’s insane project to muzzle everyone in Europe who says something mean about him. He’s had an injunction issued against one German comic, another prosecuted, and demanded that the city of Geneva take down an art exhibit. But in that time, apparently nobody has explained the Streisand Effect to him: as he does this, more attention grows. Six weeks ago, who would have thought to connect the Turkish President with goats? And now he’s picking a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel. Very smart.