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Merkel stresses value of free speech in Erdogan satire spat

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses a news conference in Berlin on April 12, 2016Chancellor Angela Merkel Tuesday spoke about the importance of free speech as Berlin weighs a Turkish request to prosecute a German TV satirist who crudely insulted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan’s government has issued a formal protest against TV comedian Jan Boehmermann and demanded that he be prosecuted for reciting a so-called “Defamatory Poem” audaciously accusing the Turkish president of paedophilia and bestiality. The case comes at an awkward time as Europe, and Germany in particular, are relying on Ankara to implement a pact to curb the flow of migrants taking boats headed for the European Union from Turkey’s shores.

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