Geneva unbending on Turkish effort to quash photo in exhibit

AP News
|
Posted: Apr 26, 2016 1:10 PM
Geneva unbending on Turkish effort to quash photo in exhibit

GENEVA (AP) — Geneva officials have rejected Turkish efforts to remove from a city exhibit a photograph accusing Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of ordering the killing of a teenage protester three years ago.

Citing freedom of expression, the city's administrative council on Tuesday authorized the exhibit to continue until Sunday as planned, on a square outside the U.N. offices that hosts many demonstrations and photo events each year.

Installed near the city's landmark three-legged chair, the photo features a boy and a caption in French reading: "My name is Berkin Elvan, the police killed me on the order of the Turkish prime minister."

The 15-year-old was hit on the head by a police tear gas canister amid protests in Turkey in 2013, when Erdogan was prime minister. Elvan later died of his injuries.

On its Website on Tuesday, the Turkish Embassy in Bern said that it respected artists' freedom, but that the photo had put Erdogan "under suspicion in an unjustified and fictitious way."

It said "an attempt was made" to bring the matter to the attention of Geneva city authorities and noted a complaint by the Turkish Association of Geneva.

In Turkey, critics accuse Erdogan of an increasingly authoritarian streak and a clampdown on media freedoms. Nearly 2,000 cases have been opened against people — including celebrities and children — who have been accused of insulting the president.