Sinan Harmancı / Istanbul, May 11 () - A bizarre steel statue showing an Ottoman prince taking a selfie with a smart phone while grasping his sword has raised eyebrows in a historic Turkish town - only to be physically attacked hours later.
The municipality in the Black Sea province of Amasya erected the unconventional statue on the shore of the town’s Yeşilırmak River.
In the Ottoman era, Amasya served as one of the cities to which sultans sent their young sons, titled “Shahzade” to learn how to govern.
Amasya Deputy Mayor Osman Akbaş said the steel statue did not depict any particular “Shahzade.”
“We built it for a purely visual purpose. We thought it would draw attention,” Akbaş said.
The statue indeed drew attention as scores of tourists flocked to the area to take their own selfies with the Ottoman prince, hours after reports of the statue appeared in the media.
“It is certainly very beautiful. It’s different,” said Turkish tourist Dilek Tuna, who was visiting Amasya from the Central Anatolian province of Çorum.
“I don’t think it’s a bad idea. It is just a joke,” said Amasya University student Ali Torun.
But not everyone liked the idea. “This is our government’s latest investment in Amasya: A selfie-taking Shahzade. Not a joke,” tweeted main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Ramis Topal.
However, on May 10 unidentified assailants broke off the cellphone feature on the statue.