Geneva rejects Turkey's effort to remove anti-Erdogan photo

The city government of Geneva said it will not close an exhibition that features a photo linking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the death of a protester, defying Turkey's efforts to have a critical photograph removed.

"Geneva and Switzerland stand for freedom of expression," Geneva's deputy mayor Guillaume Barazzone told public broadcaster SRF on Tuesday, ahead of the city government's formal decision.

According to a city spokesman, Turkey's consulate wanted the city to remove a photo from an open-air exhibition sponsored by the city in front of the seat of the United Nations.

Turkey's embassy in Bern said in a written statement Tuesday that there had simply been an attempt to "establish verbal contact with the Geneva city authorities" to inform them that the photo had raised "reactions" by some Geneva-based Turkish non-governmental groups.

At the exhibition by Geneva-based photographer Demir Sonmez, one of the large photos shows a protest banner with the image of a teenager who died after he was hit by a tear gas canister during the 2013 anti-government protests in Istanbul.

"My name is Berkin Elvan. Police killed me on orders of the Turkish prime minister," the text on the banner reads. Erdogan was premier at the time of the incident.

Last update: Tue, 26/04/2016 - 17:13

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