A statue of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Wiesbaden, Germany was removed after it lead an incitement of violence between his supporters and their opponents.
The large golden statue was depicting Erdoğan with his right arm raised, not unlike the Saddam Hussein statue in Baghdad that was removed by US forces, to “provoke public debate about this year’s festival theme of ‘bad news,’” according to The Guardian
The pose was quickly received with disapproval, backlash arriving in the form of graffiti with messages such as, “Turkish Hitler.”
The statue was put up “to discuss Erdoğan,” Wiesbaden city theater chief Eric Laufenberg told DPA. “In a democracy, we have to put up with all kinds of opinions.”
Some, however, objected to the erection of the statue. “He has lied and bought his way into power,” said resident Werner Starotsta. “He is a dictator.”
The statue was put in the town square on Monday by artists for Wiesbaden’s Bienalle art festival. However, police said that they could no longer guarantee people’s safety due to the statue.
Firefighters with a crane arrived shortly after midnight on Tuesday night to the town square to remove the statue.
The removal was “in agreement with state police,” according to the city government’s Twitter page. “Mayor Sven Gerich decided to have the statue removed as security could no longer be guaranteed.”
“It is certainly appropriate to conceive of Erdogan as a controversial figure
,” insisted Laufenberg, “and one that we are allowed to discuss freely here in this country.”Reuters contributed to this story.