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Istanbul Civil Court of Peace fined Turkish President for calling Monument to Humanity a Monstrosity

Mar 4, 2015 16:16 IST

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on 3 March 2015 was fined one lakh Turkish Lira (40000 US dollars) by the Istanbul 3rd Civil Court of Peace for calling an Armenian peace sculpture called Monument to Humanity a monstrosity.

The court ordered Erdogan to pay compensation to artist Mehmet Aksoy for psychological damage caused to him after he called Aksoy’s sculpture, symbolizing Armenian-Turkish friendship, a monstrosity.

Erdogan in January 2011 had expressed disapproval of the Monument to Humanity, during a visit to the Turkish city of Kars. He referred to it as a monstrous sculpture, and said it should not be next to the tomb of the Muslim scholar Hasan Harakani. The statue was taken down on 14 June 2011 by the Kars Municipality.

At the time of calling the statue a monstrosity, Erdogan was serving Turkey as its Prime Minister.

The artist Aksoy filed a lawsuit against the Turkish President and criticised his remarks. He said that the sculpture carries a message of friendship and peace.

The statue or the Monument to Humanity was two 30-meter-tall concrete figures reaching out to each other. It was built on a hill above Kars, just 40 kilometers from the Armenian border, in 2008.

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