German city removes 4 metre-tall golden statue of Turkish President Recep Erdogan over security fears

A statue of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was installed at a German art festival has been taken down after authorities said it was becoming a security issue.

The dpa news agency reported that the four metre-tall golden sculpture depicting President Erdogan with a raised right arm, evoking the statue of Saddam Hussein toppled by American forces in Iraq, was removed just after midnight in the city of Wiesbaden.

Since its erection on Monday, authorities said it had become a magnet for pro- and anti-Erdogan speeches and provoked conflict.

Wiesbaden State Theatre director Uwe Eric Laufenberg defended the debate as being the installation's purpose, saying: "We displayed the statue in order to discuss Erdogan."

He added: "In a democracy, one must tolerate all opinions."

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