Arson attack on Müjdat Gezen Arts Center in Istanbul is ‘provocation,’ Culture Minister says
Turan YILMAZ - ANKARA
DHA photoThe arson attack on the Müjdat Gezen Arts and Culture Center in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district is a “provocation,” Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı has said.
“This is an obvious provocation. I hope they recover soon, especially the students. Our friends [ministry officials] have called them but could not reach them. We are following this case,” Avcı said, adding that the ministry would issue a statement upon completing their inspection.
Meanwhile, fans of the Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş football clubs gathered to protest the arson attack on the arts center, chanting at the site on behalf of the actor Müjdat Gezen, the founder of the arts center.
Gezen thanked all those gathered in support at the art center building, saying he was honored.
Fellow actor İlker Ayrık, an educator at the center, said the attack “targeted art and education” and vowed that the assailants would “get their deserts.”
The theater academy was set alight early on Feb. 20. Police and fire department teams were dispatched to the scene after the attack, which caused damage to the building.
Extensive security measures were taken after the incident, with police finding a bottle in the garden of the center and plastic gloves in the dustbin.
Security footage at the entrance of the building showed a man pouring gasoline before setting the building alight, and police are also examining footage from security cameras around the building.