Thursday, 28 January 2010

British artist to face jail for mocking Turkey’s PM

I do not agree with those who claim that president or PM, or whoever it is up there, are symbols of the country and should be respected etc etc. In past, such opinions were expressed in Armenian blogosphere here and there. I do not buy such arguments. First, some may be against the institution of e.g. presidency for whatever reason, and it’s their right to do so. Then, artists or ordinary citizen should be able to mock those in power, regardless of their position. I may like it or not, I may agree with them or not, but it’s their right, and if you are in politics, you should expect this, and rather than putting yourself in a ridiculous position of suing for such expressions, you’d rather laugh at or ignore.

Here is a story from Turkey of a British artist who mocked Turkey’s PM portraying Erdogan as the US pet.

*extract from the BBC, below:

Artist fined for art mocking Turkey's prime minister

Michael Dickinson's Good Boy

An English artist has been convicted of mocking Turkey's prime minister by portraying him as a dog in an artwork.
Michael Dickinson, 59, originally from County Durham, now faces jail after refusing to pay a fine imposed by a judge in Istanbul.
"Good Boy" showed Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a dog with a US flag as his lead.
Mr Dickinson said he would not pay the fine as he did not regard what he had done as a crime. Proceedings were adjourned until 9 March.



levon said...

kocharian harsanik photos

artmika said...

BBC: Artist defiant despite fine for Turkish PM 'mockery'

A British artist whose collage was found to have mocked Turkey's prime minister has been fined by a court in Istanbul.

Michael Dickinson walked smiling from the Kadikoy district court, a free man, but not completely off the hook.

The judge ruled that the British artist had crossed the line with his cartoon, superimposing the head of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on the body of a dog, and found him guilty of insulting Mr Erdogan's "dignity and honour".

The judge sentenced him to 425 days in prison, the first time anyone has been jailed for criticising the prime minister.

But the sentence was immediately commuted to a fine of about £3,000.

When a defiant Mr Dickinson insisted he would not pay, the judge explained that, provided he made no new cartoons of the prime minister over the next five years, the fine would be put aside.

"Of course I'm relieved", he told the BBC outside the court.

"I didn't know what to expect. But I still don't think I should have been guilty, and I'm not saying I'm not going to make any more cartoons of politicians."

It has been quite a legal saga for the 59-year-old teacher, writer, anti-war activist and founder of the Istanbul branch of the Stuckist art movement. [...]