BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Angela Merkel agreed on Friday to allow prosecutors to pursue a case against a German comedian who mocked Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan, prompting accusations that she had failed to protect free speech and dividing her ruling coalition.
Erdogan had demanded that Germany press charges against Jan Boehmermann after he recited a poem about the Turkish leader in a show on German public broadcaster ZDF on March 31, suggesting he hits girls, watches child pornography and engages in bestiality.
A section of the German criminal code prohibits insults against foreign leaders but leaves it to the government to decide whether to authorize prosecutors to pursue such cases.
This put Merkel in an awkward position. She has been the driving force behind a controversial European Union deal with Turkey to stem the flow of refugees into Europe and critics have already accused her of ignoring violations of human rights and press freedoms in Turkey to secure its cooperation...