Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has not allowed Bolu Mayor Tanjur Özcan, from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), to erect the former’s statue in the city.
Prior to the presidential elections, Özcan had vowed to build the statue if Erdoğan is re-elected. On June 13, Özcan tweeted that he would keep his promise.
“Prior to the elections, I sent a tweet to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, I wish I had never sent it. Word comes out of a chap’s mouth once. But, according to the regulations, to have a living person’s statue erected, a consent needs to be received from the (relevant) person. And to keep my promise, I have written a letter to Mr. President and asked for consent from him,” Özcan tweeted, also sharing the letter he penned.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’a seçimden önce bir tweet attım, atmaz olaydım… Laf delikanlının ağzından bir kere çıkar.— Tanju ÖZCAN (@tanjuozcanchp) June 13, 2023
Fakat mevzuata göre yaşayan birinin heykelinin dikilmesi için kişiden muvafakat alınması lazım. Ben de sözümü tutabilmem için Sayın Cumhurbaşkanı’na mektup yazdım ve… pic.twitter.com/HOXDVKbsIp
In a response letter penned by the head of the Presidency's Administrative Affairs, Metin Kıratlı, Erdoğan did not approve of the statue planned to be built in Bolu, Demirören News Agency reported on June 16.
“Emphasizing that statesmen should be commemorated with their services, not their statues, our esteemed President stated that he did not consent to the construction of his statue and that it would be more appropriate to provide assistance to our citizens of Bolu in the amount of the planned cost of the statue,” the letter said.
In response, Özcan said “As we have already provided fair assistance to our citizens in need, we will also distribute the money to be spent on this statue fairly to those in need,”