May 11 2016
German Burger Bar closed for 3 days because of Muslim threats over a burger that mocked Turkish President Erdogan
The German manager of a burger bar in Cologne will start selling ‘Erdogan Goat Cheese Burgers’ again, despite closing for three days because of threats from Turkish Muslims. Will Turkish president Recep Erdogan demand that the owner of this restaurant be prosecuted as he did to a German satirist who wrote an offensive poem about him? And will German Chancellor Angela Merkel pave the way for the prosecution of this ‘offensive’ burger creator as she did for that German satirist, Jan Böhmermann, who mocked the Turkish leader on TV?
BBC The German manager of a burger bar in Cologne will start selling “Erdogan-Burgers” again, despite closing for three days because of threats, he told the BBC. Joerg Tiemann said his Urban Burgery sold the burgers garnished with goat’s cheese as a “satirical answer” to Turkish
He has now installed security cameras. Mr Erdogan reacted angrily when a German comic poked fun at him in a poem referring to sex with goats and sheep. Jan Boehmermann was given police protection after reading his obscene poem on German TV.
The Turkish president filed a criminal complaint against the comic, in a case that prompted a heated debate in Germany over freedom of speech. German prosecutors are investigating whether he broke a law against insulting foreign leaders.
When asked about the Boehmermann case, Mr Tiemann said his own protest was more a mark of solidarity with two Turkish journalists at the daily Cumhuriyet, who were jailed on 6 May.
Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted AK Party government has drawn international criticism for cracking down on dissent. Turkey has backtracked on freedom of speech and judicial independence, EU officials and human rights activists say.
Mr Tiemann said the threats targeting the Urban Burgery were “mostly commentaries on Facebook – people threatened to send the Grey Wolves to our restaurant”.
The Grey Wolves are a Turkish nationalist group dating back to the 1960s, accused of multiple murders of leftists and liberals.
Mr Tiemann said German national security agents had visited the Urban Burgery on Tuesday, and he now had eight 24-hour surveillance cameras.
And in the Netherlands, Turkey asks Turks there to spy on and report people who insult Erdogan.