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'People's Clown': The World's Most Insulted President

The always angry Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's president, should have a moment of peace and wonder why is he probably the world's ...

The always angry Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's president, should have a moment of peace and wonder why is he probably the world's most insulted president.

Since Erdogan was elected president in August 2014 he has sued at least 1,845 people for insulting him.

Now his judicial challenges have been exported to Europe.

An obscure German law, dating back to 1871, was used to silence Iranian dissidents critical of Iran's Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in the 1960s and 1970s. 
Turkey President 

Now Erdogan has become the third foreign leader taking advantage of that law after a popular German comic satirized him in crude terms. The law allows prosecution in Germany for insulting a foreign leader, but only with the consent of the government. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel granted her consent for the prosecution of German comedian Jan B√∂hmermann, although she promised that the law allowing legal proceedings would be repealed in 2018.

All that would be a story of no importance in Turkey, where journalists tend to weigh their words more carefully these days, several newspapers have been seized or closed in recent months, broadcasters taken off air and prominent journalists getting prosecuted on charges of insult, for being members of terrorist organization or even for being spies. 

Rebecca Harms, co-chair of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance at the European Parliament (EP), said that "[after Merkel's go-ahead for legal proceedings] now the Turkish journalists and artists will even suffer more."

Merkel's support for Erdogan's increasingly prickly psyche came after two important reports highlighted Turkey's disturbingly autocratic regime. 

From across the Atlantic, the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, released annually by the U.S. Department of State, provided a clear snapshot of the deteriorating human rights violations in Turkey. 

It said that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government's interference with freedom of expression, arbitrary application of laws and inadequate protection of civilians in the country's southeast pose great threats to civil rights and liberties. 

The report also observed that: "Impunity and weak administration of justice is another issue of concern, as certain laws were applied too broadly and inconsistently ... Wide leeway granted to prosecutors and judges contributed to politically motivated investigations." - Online Sources 







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