A Turkish Mayor Is Being Sued for Using Taxpayer Money to Build a Transformer Statue

Turns out you can’t just use public funds to build giant robots wherever you please.
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Turns out you can’t just use public funds to build giant robots wherever you please.
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Here’s a protip for when you’re the mayor one day: You can’t just use public funds to build a giant "Transformers" statue in your city.

Melih Gökçek, who is the mayor of Ankara (Turkey’s capital) and definitely not two eight-year-old boys in a trench coat, learned this the hard way. He’s currently being sued for erecting a 20-foot robot statue - which, lamely, can’t even be called a Transformer due to copyright issues - at a crossroads in the city. And it's not just a product of robotic enthusiasm from Gökçek; the not-Transformer is meant to promote a new theme park that will eventually include 20 more robots.

Turkey's Chamber of Architects and Engineers (TMMOB) was initially amused when they assumed that the statue was an April Fool’s joke. Upon learning that the statue was intended to be permanent, they filed a criminal complaint due to Gökçek’s (mis)use of public funds.

TMMOB went so far as to call the statue a "monstrosity,” to which Gökçek responded glibly:  "Respect the robot."

Photos by ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images