Social media users consider historical Russian sculptures an insult to Erdogan
Social media users are saying that decorative sculptures in a meeting room, in which Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Moscow, were an insult meant to belittle the Turkish delegation.
Pictures of the two leaders’ meeting in Moscow spread online, with Twitter users immediately pointing out a piece in the room which they considered insulting to Turkey.
The sculpture was that of Catherine the Great, who in the Russo-Turkish war (1768-1774) was largely victorious against the Ottoman Empire.
Twitter user Maxim Suchkov called it “hardcore trolling.”
Hardcore trolling (messaging?) by #Kremlin protocol to #Erdogan while on visit to #Moscow— Maxim A. Suchkov (@MSuchkov_ALM) March 6, 2020
1. Statue of Catherine the Great (defeated Ottomans in 1768-74 and 1787-92, annexed Crimea in 1783)
2. Bronze sculpture feat. #Russia/n soldiers who defeated #Turkey in Bulgaria in 1877-1878 pic.twitter.com/mqndQafO3I
Ahmet Khalafat said the move “will definitely be remembered as an iconic moment in Russia-Turkey relations.”
The statue of Catherine the Great overlooking the modern day Turkish Viziers and Pashas will definitely be remembered as an iconic moment in Russia–Turkey relations. But the second sculpture looks like a fixed detail in Putin’s meetings. Do you have any more detail about it? pic.twitter.com/hTd78VP0N1— Ahmet Kalafat (@Ahmet_Kalafat_) March 6, 2020
The two leaders were meeting to discuss solutions to the Syrian conflict, in which Turkey backs opposition factions and Russia backs the Syrian regime forces – who have been bombarding the opposition’s final stronghold for months.
The sculptures in the room, however, were not put up specifically for the Turkish delegation. Pictures of Putin with other leaders show the exact same display.