Monuments and statues of Atatürk represent far more than inanimate marble and bronze objects. They are symbols of the core memories and traditions of the people of Turkey. They are emblematic of the independence of a Nation, the free will of the people, and the respect, reverence and adulation with which Turks embrace Atatürk and his comrades, the very Forefathers of the Modern Republic of Turkey.
And although such attacks by obscurantists and iconoclasts should be regarded as attacks on the integrity of Turks, the present anti-Atatürk government regards them as no more than misdemeanors and provocations. Of course, the attacks serve the government’s purpose, as its passive, willy-nilly condemnation is just another sign of the administration’s encouragement of ignorance in the general population.
— The Atatürk Society of America