Spider-Man attends Eid prayer, police intervene in Turkey’s quake-stricken Hatay

Turkey’s self-proclaimed “local Spider-Man,” Ayaz Koç, was handcuffed and beaten by police after attending the morning Eid prayer dressed as the Marvel hero at Kaptan Paşa Mosque in İskenderun, Hatay.

Duvar English

Turkey’s self-proclaimed “local Spider-Man,” Ayaz Koç, known for donning the Marvel hero’s costume during his travels across the country, was briefly detained in Hatay’s İskenderun district on April 10.

‘’I was going to the Eid prayer. After I washed my hands and face, the people responded positively," Koç said in a video message released following the incident.

However, after the authorities started receiving reports of a masked individual at the mosque, they swiftly intervened.

Video footage shows police officers trying to rip off the mask covering Koç’s face during the prayer, while the ‘’Turkey’s local Spider-Man’’ resists arrest.

‘’They forced me to the ground, handcuffed me, and stepped on my feet,” Koç said.

Visibly emotional, he described sustaining injuries to his foot, rendering him unable to walk. ‘’I was battered up, my foot was injured, and now I cannot walk,’’ he said.

Following clarification of his intentions to the authorities, Koç was released.

The influencer had been touring areas heavily impacted by the Feb. 6 earthquakes, aiming to cheer up those affected by the disaster, which claimed over 53,000 lives and leveled more than 38,000 buildings in Turkey, according to official figures.

“As a volunteer, I entertained children in earthquake zones,” Koç said. “I spent a significant amount of time in Hatay due to the devastating losses. Then, my dream of traveling around Turkey began. I conceived the idea of Spider-Man traveling across Turkey to uplift people,” he said, noting that he has already visited 33 provinces as part of his goal.

Despite the pain, Koç reiterated his commitment ‘’to spread joy’’ and to continue pursuing his dreams of visiting all of Turkey’s provinces in a Spider-Man costume.

(English version by Wouter Massink)