Monument to Humanity in Kars
By Jade •
The Monument to Humanity was a 30-metre statue that played a prominent role in the skyline of the city of Kars. In the wake of the 2011 Turkish General Election, the then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid a visit to the city of Kars and, during a campaign stop, declared that the monument was a ‘monstrosity’ and pointed out the aesthetic displeasure he received from looking at the monument. Many suspected that the Prime Minister’s comments had little to do with the aesthetics of the monument and that there may have been ulterior motives other than aesthetics at play. This case study explores the fallout of the Prime Minister’s comments and the destruction process that followed and inspects a variety of different interconnected contestations that arose as a result of the Prime Minister’s statement and the salience of these contestations to the present day.