Yesterday I stumbled across articles in the German media about Jan Böhmermann. Apparently he wrote a comedy poem about Turkey’s current democratic dictator, Erdogan, which caused diplomatic ripples and the German Ambassador being summoned to explain the actions of a private German TV company. Germany’s current democratic dictator, Mrs. Merkel, apologised sycophantly to Erdogan and the TV programme was Orwellianly removed from the internet.
Erdogan, for those not paying attention, is Turkey’s current El Presidente. He has spent his time ín office building a palace which would put shame to Louis XIV’s, removing all forms of opposition, from political through free press to individuals who claim he bears more than a passing resemblance to Tolkien’s Gollum, waging war on the Kurds, who are fighting ISIS, and, the deeper down the rabbit hole one goes, so far as actively supporting IS via his son’s import and sale of their oil.
All that is bad enough, but German media articles were stating that Turkey was baying for Mr. Böhmermann’s blood. Demanding he should lose his job and the German authorities were also considering legal action which could result in fines and prison sentences of 3 to 5 years!
My problem with all this is that 20 people (and for people read hard-line Erdogan fans with turkish roots) in Mainz (with a population of over 204,000) so that’s 0.01% of the population, were, with their officially complaints, enough to trigger a politically motivated and correct reaction from the State which, if successful, will effectively be the thin end of the wedge for the banning of free speech.
Certainly all those in the entertainment spotlight will be wont to self-censor themselves as a result of this, and I can well imagine that authors of songs and poems could be shied into suppressing their criticism of State leaders in written words. Effectively I see this as the equivalent of the States burning of books. The books don’t have to be literally burned, in this case, because the State ensures that the “undesirable” content doesn’t get the chance to be printed.
Free speech, the spoken word, is already under heavy attack in first world societies and unfortunately restricted and controlled in most western countries. Only literature remains a last bastion of resistance and that is becoming ever more a target.
Effectively the pace of the march towards a completely totalitarian State is being increased daily.