There are several informational links at the end of this email including an excellent in-depth interview with Michael Dickinson (featuring the artwork in question, "Best in Show") in issue nine of MungBeing.
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Here's how Michael describes this unfortunate situation: "[I was] called to court again unexpectedly a couple of weeks ago, when a cop rang my doorbell and handed me a summons to appear in court on 25 April at 11.30 in connection with the collages I made last year depicting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in the role of a dog, controlled and feted by American President George W Bush.
I was surprised, thinking all that stuff had finished after my arrest and prolonged detainment in police custody last year.
In my defense I said that the collages were not meant as a personal attack on the Prime Minister, but his position, and the fact that President Bush considers him a useful friend and ally. Turkish soil is home to American nuclear bombs at the US airbase at Diyarbakir.
I said that I was an artist(?) and did not usually plan my collages, but acted on inspiration at the time of making, often as a reaction to news of what is happening in the world, particularly Iraq.
When the judge asked me to describe what I was trying to say in my 2 collage pictures of Erdogan in the role of America's dog, I said that it was up to the viewer to make his own interpretation; a visual artist shouldn't need to explain in words. Pictures are for eyes. Words (spoken) are for ears.
I said that over the years I'd made countless collage pictures of President GW Bush and Tony Blair in much more unflattering roles without persecution. In the Western/European world, artists are allowed to express their feelings in their works.
The trial has been adjourned until 8th October. During that time the court will seek the opinion of a number of Turkish university professors as to whether my collages are 'art' or crime.
In the meantime I'm 'free'."
I hope to hear from you soon and thank you for your support,
The Offending Image
June 8, 2006: The Bush's Dog Case
Criminal Collage By MICHAEL DICKINSON
July 26, 2006: "Sorry, We Thought You Were Israeli!"
Arrested in Istanbul By MICHAEL DICKINSON
May 2, 2007: Criminalizing Art
Trouble in Turkey By MICHAEL DICKINSON
June 17, 2006: Satire that could land British artist in a Turkish jail
By Dalya Alberge, Arts Correspondent, and Suna Erdem in Istanbul
Information About Michael Dickinson
August, 2006: Outspoken
a conversation with Michael Dickinson by David "Starchy" Grant
Stuckism coverage and information