A drawing by Kurdish artist Ali Zülfikar critical of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been censored at an exhibition in the German city of Cologne upon a request from the Turkish consul general in Mainz, the German Die Welt newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The drawing shows Erdoğan wearing glasses that reflect a crying child symbolizing war and jailed opposition politician Selahattin Demirtaş. In his hand, Erdoğan holds Islam’s holy book, the Quran, with his fingerprints. This critical drawing triggered outrage at the exhibition in Linz am Rhein.
The Turkish consul general in Mainz, Sibel Müderrisoğlu, urged the city of Linz not to exhibit the drawing of Zülfikar, claiming that it is defamatory and degrading for Erdoğan and Turkey, said Linz Mayor Hans Georg Faust.
Because of legal concerns and worries about possible conflicts between Erdoğan opponents and supporters, Faust asked the Cologne artist not present his work for the time being, attracting criticism at the opening of the exhibition in the Linz Stadthalle last Sunday.
Zülfikar said he decided to exhibit his work from the backside, where he had a note saying “Censored by the city of Linz” attached.
The artwork shows an Erdoğan stamp with the words “Erdo-Banana Republic.”
Mayor Faust said on Monday he had received reports from the Foreign Office, lawyers and the police and that the drawing can be shown again until the end of the exhibition on Nov.18.