Turkey has been displaying impressive bad taste when it comes to statues lately.
As is the case in most countries, statues in cities across Turkey used to represent what was well-known or important to that particular place.
Amasya in northern Turkey is well-known as the City of the Princes (şehzade), which makes a statue of an Ottoman prince an entirely logical architectural embellishment for the city.
Except in keeping with a recent trend towards post-modern effigies in the country, the one Amasya's municipal authorities put up in the city was not a regular Ottoman prince but an Ottoman prince taking a selfie:
So people, it’s actually real: A statue unveiled in Amasya of 16th-century Ottoman Prince Mustafa… taking a selfie: pic.twitter.com/nsKthXiFTo
— Alex Christie-Miller (@AChristieMiller) May 10, 2015
Reactions poured in from the moment the media found out about the monument. Many people took what might be called a ‘selfie squared’ — a selfie of themselves with the selfie-taking statue — while others listed similarly anti-historical sculptures elsewhere in the country:
Selfie-taking Ottoman Prince in Amasya, Transformers in Ankara, Superman in Bodrum, where is the statue of Jedi Yoda?!? :D :D
Allah'ım şok geçiriyorum o telefon niye Samsung? Şehzade Mustafa nasıl bi i-phone alamaz? pic.twitter.com/dU0sOhGgzz
— Dr. Freud'un Gelini (@yemeklibivagon) May 9, 2015
My God, I am shocked, why is that phone a Samsung? How come Prince Mustafa cannot afford an iPhone?
But while tweeps were basking in selfie-mania, Prince Mustafa's likeness suffered two cruel blows: the statue's phone and sword were broken in two separate incidents on May 10 and May 11 respectively.
Despite the fact that the seeming attacks on the statue raised the possibility of a politically motivated crime, the captured suspects explained that they had no political motivations and that the cell phone and the sword simply broke off as soon as they touched them.
After hearing these testimonies, the local prosecutor released both suspects. The statue, on the other hand, was taken under police custody.
selfie çeken şehzade heykelinin elindeki telefonu kırmışlar. Şehzade yeni telefon için 2 sene beklesin 5G'ye geçicez pic.twitter.com/ISkXNmboaz
— Levent (@fevri_sosyolog) May 10, 2015
People have broken the phone of the selfie-taking Ottoman Prince. He should wait two years to buy a new phone, by which time we will have made the leap to 5G.
Amasya municipality later explained that the statue was not representative of any particular prince. While it bore a resemblance to Mustafa its goal was aesthetic rather than to make a historical statement, officials explained. Following the attacks, the municipality promised they would reconstruct the damaged parts of the statue.