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TURKEY

Satirists offer Erdogan ‘dirty deal’ on mocking video

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.

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

“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.

SEE ALSO: The video Turkey wants banned from Germany

TRAVEL

Germany lifts travel warning for four Turkish regions

Germany lifted its travel warning for several coastal regions of Turkey on Tuesday, ceding partially to weeks of campaigning by Ankara, whose tourism industry relies heavily on German visitors.

Germany lifts travel warning for four Turkish regions
Beach chairs and umbrellas at a hotel complex in Antalya, Turkey. Photo: DPA

The warning will be lifted with immediate effect for the four coastal provinces of Antalya, Izmir, Aydin and Mugla, government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said in Berlin.

“Turkey has developed a special tourism and hygiene concept for these four regions in order to realise safe tourism under the conditions of the pandemic,” Demmer said.

Turkey will require anyone travelling back to Germany to present a negative coronavirus test within 48 hours before departure.

Turkey had been one of 160 countries outside the European Union and the Schengen area for which a travel warning was in place until August 31st.

In July, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had demanded a review of the travel warning while visiting his German counterpart Heiko Maas in Berlin.

READ ALSO: Can you be forced to take a coronavirus test after returning to Germany from a risk country?

Anyone currently arriving in Germany from areas considered to be at high risk must produce a negative coronavirus test or go into quarantine for 14 days.

Germany, which is home to a large Turkish community, makes up the biggest group of tourists by nationality in Turkey.

In a blow to tourism in Spain, Germany last week added three northern Spanish regions to its list of high-risk destinations.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Germany's plans for mandatory Covid-19 tests for returning travellers

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