ISTANBUL (Hurriyet Daily News)–The Kars Municipality has decided to demolish the hotly debated “Monument to Humanity” sculpture in the city dedicated to advancing “Turkish-Armenian Friendship,” reported the Anatolian news agency on Tuesday.
Eleven members of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and eight members of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) voted to demolish the statue during the municipal assembly meeting, four members of the Republican People’s Party (CHP).
The 30-meter (100-foot) unfinished concrete statue, located in the northeastern Turkish city of Kars close to the Armenian border, was commissioned in 2006 to promote dialogue and reconciliation between the two countries. It depicts two figures emerging from one human shape and symbolizing the pain of division.
Visiting Kars on January 8, Erdogan reportedly described the monument as a “monstrosity” that overshadows a nearby Islamic shrine. The AFP news agency cited Turkish media as saying that he ordered the Kars mayor, a member of his ruling Justice and Development Party, to replace it with a park.