BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she regrets expressing her personal view that a TV comic's poem about Turkey's president was intentionally offensive.
Merkel said Friday that she stood by her decision to grant Turkey's request to let prosecutors and courts decide whether German comedian Jan Boehmermann had insulted a foreign head of state. Under German law, the government has to agree before prosecutors can investigate in such cases.
But Merkel said her view that the poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was "intentionally offensive" had given some the opinion that she didn't value free speech.
Critics have accused Merkel of kowtowing to Turkey because of the country's important role in stopping the influx of migrants to Europe.
Merkel is scheduled to visit a refugee camp in Turkey on Saturday.