Satirists offer Erdogan ‘dirty deal’ on mocking video

Satirists offer Erdogan 'dirty deal' on mocking video
Extra3 presenter Christian Ehring in front of an image of Erdogan in his March 17th broadcast. Photo: DPA
Satire show extra3 caused a diplomatic incident last week with a video mocking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In this week's episode the japesters decided to double down.

“If Erdogan wants to hear criticism, he should watch extra3. If he wants no criticism, he should meet the Chancellor [Angela Merkel],” presenter Christian Ehring joked.

Merkel has come in for tough criticism from opponents for overlooking Turkey's poor press freedom and human rights record in her eagerness to strike a deal with Turkey to take back refugees arriving in Europe illegally.

For each Syrian that Turkey takes back from the Greek islands, the EU will resettle one recognized Syrian refugee from a Turkish camp.

And it was on this theme that the satirists decided to press home.

“For every joke a Turkish comedian is allowed to make, we will retract one,” Ehring said in a more serious moment addressing media freedom in Turkey.

“We aren't doing this just for a laugh,” he said, adding that satire is based on journalism and aims to draw people's attention to what is wrong in the world.

But he couldn't resist a few further gags at Erdogan's expense, such as showing the song again with Turkish subtitles.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry formally summoned the German ambassador twice over last week's broadcast – one of the sharpest diplomatic moves a country can make short of expelling another nation's diplomats altogether.

“We summoned the Turkish ambassador here today and he just didn't turn up,” Ehring said.

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