A U.K. magazine is offering a £1000 ($1,438) reward for writing the most offensive limericks about the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Douglas Murray, a columnist at Spectator magazine, launched a competition for composing the most insulting poems for the Turkish president — irrespective of the impact that such a thing would cause in the diplomatic relations of the two countries.
The publication came as a protest in wake of Germany announcing the prosecution of comedian Jan Boehmermann, who last month recited a highly NSFW poem on air about Erdogan, calling him a pedophile and a person who engaged in bestiality.
The German comedy show host is now in police custody and Chancellor Angela Merkel approved a criminal inquiry against him based on Germany’s constitution, which protects foreign ministers from slander.
The fact that the comic faces any punishment at all is not sitting well with the United Kingdom and European Union.
“The fact such a trial could even be contemplated demonstrates that Germany is becoming little more than a satrapy [province] of Erdogan's," wrote Murray while announcing the controversial competition. “I'm a free-born British man... In honor of this fact I have spent the weekend writing rude limericks about Mr. Erdogan. And I would hereby like to invite all readers to join me in a grand Erdogan limerick competition.”
Murray also urged contestants to make the lyrics as “filthy” as possible. The results will be released on June 23.
While in Germany, obscene mockery of a foreign head of state can land you years of jail, the rules are much more lax in the U.K. Slandering a president will only get you a fine of $1,000.
Opponents of Erdogan see the president as a tyrant who wants to mold the country in his own image while his advocates call him a misunderstood figure working for Turkey's prosperity in a highly challenging situation.
While in Washington, D.C., last month, Erdogan evaded a question about the prosecution of Boehmermann saying instead that he had no issues with criticism but “insult is something different.”