|Angela Merkel please note: |
"when playing with fire you risk to get burnt"
The move on Tuesday came as a pact between the European Union and Turkey, which involves refugee and so-called economic migrant swaps, was being implemented in attempt to stop the flow of people to Europe.
In a March 31 television programme, Jan Boehmermann, the host of the late-night Neo Magazin Royale programme on public broadcaster ZDF, recited the poem with references to bestiality and accusations that the Turkish leader repressed minorities and mistreated Kurds and Christians.
The poem, seemingly a deliberate provocation by Boehmermann, has exploded into a diplomatic incident that pits freedoms championed by Western Europe against recent moves in Turkey that many in the West see as an attempt to silence opposition voices.
Merkel, asked about the case on Tuesday, tried to separate the two issues and stressed her commitment to freedom of expression.
"Turkey is bearing a very big burden in relation to the Syrian civil war but all of that is completely separate from Germany's fundamental values ... freedom of the press, opinion and science apply and are completely separate from that," she told reporters.
Note EU-Digest: Hopefully Mrs. Merkel is aware of the saying: " when playing with fire, you risk to get burnt"