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German court dismisses Erdogan’s appeal to ban mocking poem outright, upholds ban on passages

A court in Hamburg on Tuesday rejected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s appeal to ban outright a satirical poem recited two years ago by a comedian on German television. The case has soured already-strained ties between Berlin and Ankara. However, judges also upheld a ban by a lower court in 2017 on certain passages of the poem, read out by German comedian Jan Boehmermann, and which suggested Erdogan watched child pornography, Reuters said. The higher regional court confirmed the ruling of the district court of Hamburg that parts of the poem could be banned because they contained degradations of an intimate and sexual nature for which there was no evidence. Boehmermann had appealed for the partial ban to be lifted. The court ruled the poem could not be completely banned because of Germany’s free speech laws.