On last night's broadcast of "Vesti Nedeli" (News of the Week), Russian television's most vocal and visible pro-Kremlin pundit, Dmitry Kiselyov, read a Russian version of an award-winning, lewd poem about Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan written by the ex-mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who is affectionately referred to as “BoJo” in the UK.
Before reading the poem, Kiselyov briefly introduced its author, describing Boris Johnson, who served as mayor of London from 2008–2016, as “an eccentric in his psychological makeup. Someone who isn't afraid to make fun of the illogical behavior of European Union leaders and the nonsensical decisions they make for the UK.” As Kiselyov said this, behind him appeared a large image of Boris Johnson with the word “Eccentric” written across it.
The Russian poem is slightly different than Boris Johnson's original, with revisions to make it possible to read the poem on primetime Russian television. But Kiselyov assured viewers that the Russian version still conveyed the same “sharpness of British political rivalry” and “featured all the nuances.”
Boris Johnson's original:
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.
Kiselyov's version (in Russian):
Один озабоченный турок
Всё время дрочил свой окурок,
Пока ранней весной
Не слюбился с козой
Без всяких прелюдий, придурок.
A literal (non-rhyming) English translation:
There once was an anxious Turk
Who was always tossing his cigarette butt
And in early spring
He would always make love to a goat
Without any kind of foreplay, the idiot.
As usual, Kiselyov offered his own less subtle speculative analysis. He said the goat featured in the poem was, in fact, an allusion to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
In late March 2016, German satirist Jan Böhmermann recited a rude poem on his TV show addressed to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The Turkish government petitioned the German authorities to prosecute Böhmermann, referencing a German law that forbids “insulting of agencies and representatives of foreign states.” The German government later complied, encountering heavy criticism for the decision to prosecute a satirist. In a show of support, British politics magazine The Spectator held a “President Erdogan Offensive Poetry competition.” The former mayor of London, Boris Johnson, won with a poem about the Turkish president making love to a goat.