Michael Dickinson’s Turkish Court Case

The UK artist living in Turkey Michael Dickinson has had his court date moved forward to March 2008. Coxsoft art news says that Mr Dickinson appeared in a Turkish court yesterday, two police officers testified that they had seen the offending works displayed, and now the judge will consult with university arts professors on the matter.

turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

A possible prison sentence isn’t something that I would like hanging over my head for another five months. It’s probably not a good thing for the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdo─čan either, especially if he really is offended by the collages that insulted his dignity. The collages might have been seen by a few hundred people if Michael Dickinson hadn’t been charged, but now they are being seen by many thousands of people all around the world. The media, bloggers and website owners love nothing better than a controversy, so they’re happy to mention the story.

I have already mentioned the story twice (Artist ChargedPrison Time for Artist) and will mention it at least one more time in March next year. But if the case was just thrown out of court like it should have been, the incident would have never been spoken of.

There’s a petition for the artist over at MungBeing for those that would like to show their support for Michael Dickinson. They also have more information on the whole silly saga.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. ‘Insulting the prime minister’ apparently is a crime in Turkey. I would venture to say the majority of people outside of Turkey and even some within cannot understand why this is such a ‘big’ deal. I too think it is way, way too much. However, the fact is that it is a crime in Turkey. Turkey being the key word here. I guess the lesson learned is: If you break the law (and get caught) you suffer the consequences regardless of what you think about the law.

  2. Very true Anon.

    You play with fire, you get burned.

    I think politics lowers art anyway. The only time politics and art mixes happily is on the editorial pages of newspapers, where the cartoonists have their fun with pollies.


  1. [...] I think artists should have the right to say things that are political though, without it costing them their freedom. Most political art has a very short shelf life, just like the politicians they depict. The best [...]

  2. […] Most of the posts on Art News Blog that mention the country of Turkey seem to be about artists suffering for their art. Like the Turkish author Elif Shafak insulting Turkish identity or the British born artist Michael Dickinson fighting for his freedom. […]

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