Cash prize in Erdogan 'Offensive Poetry Competition'
April 20, 2016
One thousand British pounds are on the line in a competition designed to personally insult Turkish President Erdogan. A German comedian is facing prosecution over a satirical TV spot that caused Erdogan to take offense.
The British magazine "The Spectator" launched a contest on Monday that will reward the person who writes what it deems to be the best "filthy and insulting as possible" poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with 1,000 pounds (1,266 euros, $1,440).
The lewd example provided by the creator of the contest, Douglas Murray, is in limerick form. While the magazine says "almost everything insulting that is worth saying can usually be included within the five lines of that beautiful and delicate form," it says it will not exclude other forms of poetry.
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"The fact such a trial could even be contemplated demonstrates that Germany is becoming little more than a satrapy of Erdogan's," Murray writes in "The Spectator."
He adds "I'm a free-born British man, and we don't live under the blasphemy laws of such despots" before announcing the poetry contest.
Initially, no prize was offered, but the online story was amended to announce that a reader "who shares The Spectator's belief in the freedom of speech" had offered the prize of 1,000 pounds. In outlining the selection criteria, Murray writes "limericks will be excluded from consideration from the top prize if they are (a) not obscene or (b) non-defamatory" and encourages sexual jabs such as those in Böhmermann's poem.
The magazine's website claims it is "the oldest continuously published magazine in the English language." Despite existing since 1828, the site reads, "The Spectator's taste for controversy remains undiminished."