A Turkish court arrested a 16-year-old who spray-painted a monument of Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, in the western city of İzmir on the 101st anniversary of the city’s liberation, local media reported on Monday.
The teenager, identified only by the initials Y.İ., who was caught on security cameras painting Atatürk’s face on the monument in the Kemalpaşa district with red spray paint, was detained and subsequently arrested on Monday.
The defacement took place on the 101st anniversary of the liberation of İzmir, on Sept. 9, 1922, which marked the end of the War of Independence and paved the way for the establishment of the Republic of Turkey.
According to the Demirören news agency (DHA), Y.İ. wrote, “Stop messing around, Atatürk,” on the base of the monument while painting Atatürk’s face on the sculpture with red paint.
The teenager also painted over two quotes by Atatürk, with one saying, “One day my mortal body will turn to dust, but the Turkish Republic will stand forever,” with black paint.
Municipal teams later cleaned off the paint from the monument.