Europe

'Insult Turkey's Erdogan' contest set up by Spectator magazine

Jan Boehmermann (file pic) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption German satirist Jan Boehmermann offended President Erdogan deliberately on air and is now facing potential prosecution

A UK-based magazine has offered a prize to the author of the most offensive poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is suing a German comedian over a satirical verse.

The Spectator is offering £1,000, donated by a reader.

It comes after Germany opened the door for a comedian to potentially be prosecuted over a TV broadcast.

Jan Boehmermann had recited a satirical poem on the TV channel ZDF which made sexual references to President Erdogan.

Mr Boehmermann is now under police protection and Angela Merkel's government has approved a criminal inquiry, under a little-used law concerning insults against foreign heads of state.

Mrs Merkel stressed that the courts would have the final word, and it was now up to prosecutors to decide whether to press charges.

Announcing the competition, commentator Douglas Murray wrote: "The fact such a trial could even be contemplated demonstrates that Germany is becoming little more than a satrapy [province] of Erdogan's."

"I'm a free-born British man... In honour of this fact I have spent the weekend writing rude limericks about Mr Erdogan.

"And I would hereby like to invite all readers to join me in a grand Erdogan limerick competition."

Since Mr Erdogan became president of Turkey in 2014, almost 2,000 cases of insulting him have been opened.

The Boehmermann case has opened a debate about free speech in Germany.

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Media captionShortly before Mrs Merkel's statement BBC reporters explained her dilemma

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