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    Artist flees after brush with PM

    Hurriyet Daily News with wires
    01.07.2009 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    ISTANBUL - An artist cleared of allegations that he mocked Turkey’s prime minister by portraying him as a dog has fled the country after hearing his acquittal was overturned, the British daily Independent reported Tuesday.

    Michael Dickinson, 59, returned home to County Durham, England, after hearing a late-night TV report last week that said the acquittal had been quashed and a new trial was pending, the daily wrote.

    "I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. I was told by a woman whose husband had seen it, and I said, ’He must be dreaming,’" Dickinson told the Independent. "I was sad to leave after 23 years in Turkey, but I don’t fancy another taste of Turkish hospitality in incarceration."

    A court acquitted Dickinson in September of insulting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying that while Turkish values would consider his collage art an insult, protecting freedom of expression was an integral part of adjusting to European standards. Dickinson is an English teacher who lived for 22 years in Istanbul.
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