A man who tried destroying a statue of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, in the southeastern province of Shanlıurfa has been arrested and is now awaiting a court date.
Mehmet Malbora climbed onto the pedestal of the statue in Siverek’s Cumhuriyet Square and began to hit it with a wooden sickle.
He has reportedly stated in his testimony that he was “told in a dream” to damage the statue. “There is no idol worshipping in Islam. Are those who protect the idol worshipping descendants of the Prophet?” Malbora said.
He was subsequently moved away from the statue by gendarmerie units and later detained by police for questioning. He was referred to court after questioning.
Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey and the man who westernised the country, is considered a hero by secular Turks.