The iconic Republic Monument in Istanbul's central Taksim Square was vandalized when someone spray-painted their initials on the construct early April 27, leading to their swift detention by police.
Placed in the center of Istanbul's most crowded square, the monument depicts the founders of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and his most prominent comrades.
"The Taksim monument was tainted in red paint, it's surrounded by police right now. What I don't understand is how this happened in such a crowded place," journalist Nilay Örnek tweeted with a photo of the scene.
Taksim Anıtı'nın üzerine bayağı kırmızı boya atılmış; anıtın çevresi polis dolu şu an. Anlamadığım, bu kadar merkezi bir yerde bu nasıl olur? pic.twitter.com/m0Ah7LByVy— Nilay Örnek (@nilayornek) April 27, 2020
The Beyoğlu District Governorate released an official statement at noon April 27, noting that the suspect had been caught.
"Research has revealed that the suspect is 50 percent intellectually disabled and an investigation into the incident was launched," the statement added.
Revealed in 1928, the monument was made by Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica and the landscaping around it was designed by Giulio Mongeri.
Initially thought to depict Mustafa Kemal only, Canonica was the one who designed the monument to symbolize Turks' national struggle for independence.
One facet of the monument shows Atatürk and his comrades in military attire to represent Turkey's independence war, while the other side depicts the group in civilian attire in representation of the republic.Istanbul municipality to hold design competition to reshape Taksim SquareTaksim Square: Meeting point or ideological battleground?