Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, flanked by Family Affairs Minister Sema Ramazanoglu, left, and Economy Minister Mustafa Elitas, speaks to the media at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, March 29, 2016. The German ambassador to Turkey has been summoned to the foreign ministry over the broadcast by German television of a song that pokes fun at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an official said.
The European Union has criticized Turkey for summoning the German ambassador over a song mocking President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as incompatible with EU democratic values.
Asked about the incident during Wednesday’s press briefing, spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said that the move does not seem to be “in line with upholding the freedom of the press and freedom expression, which are values the EU cherishes a lot.”
Andreeva added that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker “believes this moves Turkey further from the EU rather than closer to us.”
Turkey, an aspiring candidate for EU membership, called in Berlin’s envoy last week to protest the broadcasting of a short clip – Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan – which ridiculed the Turkish president for his alleged extravagant spending and crackdown on civil liberties.
Rights groups and the West have repeatedly criticized Ankara for its track record on human rights, but the 28-nation bloc reached a deal with Ankara on March 18 to curb the unprecedented influx of migrants into Europe.
Erdogan has repeatedly rejected any criticism of Turkey’s rights record.
Andreeva recalled what Juncker said in a recent interview with the Handelsblatt German newspaper “that part of our cooperation with Turkey is precisely to talk openly about these issues and address these issues because we do want that Turkey moves closer to EU standards in this area.”