Turkish president fined for 'insulting' Armenia peace statue

AP , Tuesday 3 Mar 2015

Turkey's state-run news agency says a court has ordered President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to pay 10,000 Turkish Lira (US$ 4,000) in compensation to an artist for calling his sculpture — meant to promote reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia — a "monstrosity."

Erdogan expressed his dislike in 2011 of Mehmet Aksoy's giant "Monument to Humanity," which was being erected in the eastern city of Kars, prompting local authorities there to dismantle it. Aksoy then sued Erdogan for "insult."

Anadolu Agency said the court ordered Erdogan to compensate Aksoy for the mental anguish caused.

Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic ties and are at odds over the mass killings of Armenians under Ottoman rule.

Next month, Armenians mark the 100th anniversary of the start of what experts deem to be genocide.

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