Douglas Murray Douglas Murray

When Boris finally meets Erdogan, I hope they discuss his rude poem

In March of this year the Turkish government complained about an item on German television which was critical of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  A fortnight later – to prove that Germany was a free country – Jan Boehmermann read out a poem that was rude about Erdogan on his evening comedy show.  Not only did the Turkish government complain but the government of Germany acceded to the prosecution of Boehmermann in Germany. Boehmermann himself had to enter police protection.

Happily the fate of poets is different in Britain to that of our kind in Germany and in the wake of the affair I instituted the ‘President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition’ to celebrate this fact.  Had I not been judge and jury my own inaugural lyric should have won any and all awards intended to insult the Sultan.  But I graciously opened out the competition to the general public.  From around the world thousands of people entered, lured by a deep belief in freedom of speech and, doubtless, a £1,000 cash prize.  What the entrants did not know was that a much larger prize was already at stake and that the winner of my competition was in fact to be rewarded with the post of Foreign Secretary.  After mulling over giving the award to a child from the north of England who wrote an admirably disgusting lyric with the help of his mother, in the end I decided to name Boris Johnson the winner and in due course he took on the role of Foreign Secretary as promised. Here is the winning poem, which came via an interview by the Spectator’s Rome correspondent Nick Farrell and the Swiss journalist Urs Gehriger for Die Weltwoche :

There was a young fellow from Ankara Who was a terrific wankerer Till he sowed his wild oats With the help of a goat But he didn’t even stop to thankera.

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