Man who attacked Atatürk statue in Turkey’s southeast arrested
ŞANLIURFA – Doğan News AgencyA local man who attacked a statue of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, in the Siverek district of the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa was arrested by court on July 31.
Mehmet Malbora, wearing traditional religious clothes and a turban, had climbed onto the pedestal of the statue in Siverek’s Cumhuriyet Square and began to hit it with a sickle on July 30.
The court ordered the arrest of Malbora on charges of “damaging a sculpture that represents Atatürk,” for which he faces up to five years in jail.
“There is no idol worshipping in Islam. Are those who protect the idol worshipping descendants of the Prophet?” he reportedly shouted as he attacked the statue. He was subsequently moved away from the area by gendarmerie units and later detained by police for questioning.
He reportedly said in his testimony at the police headquarters that he had “no regrets” and he was “told in a dream” to damage the statue.
During searches at his residence, police seized Malbora’s mobile phone, tablet computer and PC for examination. He reportedly had no previous criminal record, while his family had claimed that Malbora was a drug addict.
Agriculture and Livestock Minister Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba has condemned the attack via his Twitter account.
“I condemn the ugly assault on the Atatürk sculpture in Siverek with hatred and I thank my people for disregarding this provocative act,” Fakıbaba wrote.