British artist Michael Dickinson, who was working out of Turkey, fled the country this week over legal troubles stemming from one his renditions that depicted Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan as a dog, Times Online reports. Dickinson's piece, titled "Good Boy" got him into trouble last September for being insulting, but he was eventually acquitted. His departure this week comes from reports that that acquittal is now being overturned. From Times Onine:
"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'," he said. "I caught a plane out as soon as I could, leaving most of my possessions behind, including my books, furnishings and computer. "I was sad to leave after 23 years in Turkey, but I don't fancy another taste of Turkish hospitality in incarceration."
Dickinson, now back in England, is staying with friends and living with consternation from the fact that England and Turkey have an extradition treaty; the BBC reports him saying:
"I came back thinking I would be safe, but I've since learnt that Britain has an extradition treaty with Turkey and that if there was a request, Britain could send me back to Turkey if they so wished.
I would love to return to Turkey, but I would want to do so after being acquitted, not forced to return to face trial."