Turkish police detain a man accused of dismantling Atatürk bust in İstanbul

Turkish police has detained a man who dismantled the bust of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who is founding father of modern Turkish Republic, at a schoolyard in the Ümraniye district of İstanbul province on Friday.

The İstanbul Police Department has issued a statement adn saying that the Atatürk bust in the schoolyard of the Yukarı Dudullu 75. Yıl Primary School was dismantled at around 2.15 a.m. One man, identified only as Mehmet Y., was detained in relation to the incident and proceedings are ongoing at the district police station, said the statement.

Mehmet Malbora on July 30, 2017, had attacked a statue of Atatürk in the Siverek district of Şanlıurfa province, saying it represented idolatry. Malbora had shouted “There is no idolatry in our religion [Islam]” while attacking the Atatürk statue with a sickle in Cumhuriyet Square. The attacker was detained by gendarmes and handed over to the police.

As political tension over debates on a new regime continues to rise in Turkey, a banner commemorating Atatürk, was not allowed into a stadium in Samsun during a Super Cup match between Beşiktaş and Konyaspor on last Sunday.

The banner, which reads “Long live Mustafa Kemal Paşa,” was taken to Samsun by Beşiktaş fans but was not allowed into the stadium by police, reportedly for the failure to secure permission in advance. Beşiktaş fans protested the decision, saying permission has never been required for banners.

Social media users shared photos of a banner that reads “Commander-in-chief” with a photo of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in İstanbul’s Başakşehir Stadium on Wednesday evening during a match between Başakşehir and Club Brugge.

As part of their protest, Beşiktaş fans chanted the İzmir anthem, which was written for Atatürk, during the match in Samsun.

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