BERLIN (AP) — The German government says Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkey’s premier discussed a poem read on a German TV show that they called “deliberately offensive” toward the Turkish president.
Comedian Jan Boehmermann read the poem in a program aired by ZDF television Thursday as an example of something that wouldn’t be allowed in Germany. Turkey previously summoned Germany’s ambassador to complain about a song aired by another channel poking fun at President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
ZDF pulled the poem from a repeat airing, saying it didn’t live up to the broadcaster’s quality expectations.
Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said the chancellor and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu agreed in a conversation Sunday the poem was “deliberately offensive.” He said Merkel pointed to the channel’s reaction but stressed Germany’s commitment to press freedom.