Mayor’s huge robot erec­tion scan­dal­izes Ankara

The China Post - - LIFE -

A mas­sive statue of a “Trans­form­ers” style robot has gone on dis­play in Ankara not, as some of res­i­dents sus­pected, as an elab­o­rate April Fools’ joke but erected by the city’s mayor.

The mass of metal and polyester, which now tow­ers over a busy road junc­tion in the cen­ter of the Turk­ish cap­i­tal, went up on Thurs­day to pro­mote the new Anka­park theme park, which Mayor Melih Gokcek is hav­ing built de­spite a court in­junc­tion over com­plaints it breaks city plan­ning rules, lo­cal press re­ported.

Gokcek, who has been mayor of this city of five mil­lion peo­ple since 1994, is one of the more col­or­ful mem­bers of the rul­ing Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Party (AKP).

Turk­ish pros­e­cu­tors last month launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into both him and Deputy Prime Minis- ter Bulent Arinc af­ter the two politi­cians traded an­gry ac­cu­sa­tions as a row within the rul­ing party widened.

Public pros­e­cu­tors in Ankara were look­ing into Arinc on charges of mis­con­duct and cov­er­ing up a felony while they ac­cused Gokcek of em­bez­zle­ment and mis­con­duct, pri­vate Do­gan news agency re­ported.

Nick­named “Mad Melih” by his de­trac­tors, the mayor had prom- ised vot­ers am­bi­tious projects such as the theme park, with gi­ant repli­cas of dinosaurs and ro­bots, as well as a chan­nel to “bring the Bospho­rus in Ankara,” an arid Turk­ish city.

The gi­ant robot statue, re­sem­bling some­thing out of the U.S. Trans­form­ers sci-fi film se­ries, did not im­press all Ankara res­i­dents.

Twit­ter user “Brgn” called it noth­ing but a “late April fool’s joke.”

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