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Erdogan fined $3,800 for insulting peace monument

A Turkish court has ordered President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to pay compensation for disparaging a statue dedicated to Turkish-Armenian friendship as a "monstrosity," leading to its demolition.
The peace monument by Turkish sculptor Mehmet Aksoy is pictured in Kars, northeastern Turkey, January 9, 2011. The fate of a giant peace monument symbolising reconciliation between Turks and Armenians has caused a row in Turkey after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan branded it "monstrous" and called for its demolition. The unfinished monument by renowned Turkish sculptor Aksoy consists of two concrete figures more than 30 metres high who face each other on an hill in the northeastern city of Kars. Picture take
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Last week, a Turkish court ordered President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to pay 10,000 Turkish lira ($3,800) in compensation to the sculptor of a monument dedicated to Turkish-Armenian friendship, a piece Erdogan famously called a “monstrosity.” The outcome of the legal case, loaded with historical and political baggage, stands out in a slew of authoritarian and oppressive rulings from the Turkish judiciary in recent months.

Sculptor Mehmet Aksoy's "Monument to Humanity," erected atop a hill overlooking Kars, not far from the Turkish-Armenian border, featured two 35-meter-tall (115 feet) human figures, one holding an open hand toward Armenia. The work was commissioned by the Kars municipality, held by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), in 2006 at a time when the AKP government was making diplomatic efforts to reconcile with Armenia.

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