Europe

German comedian bashes Merkel's response to his Erdogan poem

A German comedian has sharply criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel for "serving me up for tea" to the Turkish president in a heated dispute over a poem he read on German TV.

The poem about Recep Tayyip Erdogan caused a diplomatic stir between the two countries last month and the Turkish president personally pressed charges against the comedian.

After several weeks of radio silence, Jan Boehmermann told Die Zeit newspaper Tuesday "the chancellor must not wobble when it's comes to freedom of speech. But instead she served me up for tea" to Erdogan.Merkel initially called the poem "deliberately offensive" even though she later regretted expressing her personal view.

Nonetheless, she granted Turkey's request to let prosecutors and courts decide whether Boehmermann had insulted a foreign head of state.