Demolition of monument to humanity violated rights of sculptor

by Orsola Casagrande, Global | 14th July 2019 7:31 am

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The Constitutional Court ruled that the demolition of the “Monument to Humanity” in Kars violated the right to freedom of expression of its author.

Visiting Kars on 8 January 2011 the then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the “Monument to Humanity” a “freak” and wanted it to be demolished.

The monument, work of sculptor Mehmet Aksoy, began to be destroyed by the company that won the tender on 26 April 2011.

Now, 8 years on, the Constitutional Court ruled that the demolition of the “Monument of Humanity” violated Aksoy’s freedom of expression and arts and he shall be paid compensation. Six of the 14 members of the top court gave an opposing vote to the verdict.

Previously an administrative court had ordered the suspension of execution regarding the demolition of the monument, but the regional administrative court overturned that decision.

The Mayor of Kars, Naif Alibeyoğlu, had said that the monument had been built as a gesture “in response to the Genocide Monument in Armenia”.

Aksoy had filed a lawsuit for compensation against Erdoğan for calling the monument a “freak.”

Erdoğan was sentenced to pay 10 thousand liras to Aksoy for non-pecuniary damages. But a local court overturned that verdict.

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