President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said “I hope we do not see a graffiti like ‘Tyranny began in 1789’ on the walls of Paris in the near future” referring to a graffiti made over the course of the Gezi Park protests while he was talking about “Yellow Vests” protests during an opening ceremony held in Üsküdar on December 8, 2018.
In the same day, a Twitter user implied above statement of Erdoğan with a tweet “Dear my friends in France, can you write ‘Tyranny began in 1789’ in a well-trodden street?”
Later, a photo which shows a graffiti “Tyranny began in 1789” on a wall in Paris was started to be circulated on social media. The photo shared on Twitter by Fatih Tezcan received 960 retweets and approximately 3,600 likes up to now. Many users on Facebook and Twitter posted the same photo considering that the photo indicates a real graffiti.
However, the claim that the photo shows a graffiti “Tyranny began in 1789” on a wall in France is false. In the original photo, “Les Gilets Jaunes Triomphent” (Triumph of the Yellow Vests!) is written on a facade of Charles de Gaulle Square in Paris. This graffiti was subjected to photo montage technique previously by Cem Işık, one of the illustrators of bobiler.org.
Thibault Camus/ Associated Press
The claimed photo was produced with photo montage
It was reported in a news article published in French newspaper Le Figaro on December 2, 2018 that the historical Triumphal Arch was damaged by the protestors who wrote various slogans on facades of the arch. The relevant graffiti “Les Gilets Jaunes Triomphent” (Triumph of the Yellow Vests!) can be seen among the others in a photo of this article. Besides, another photo of the graffiti taken from a broader perspective can be found in the news article of Le Parisien dated December 2, 2018.
A video published on YouTube on December 2, 2018 displays the arch filled with slogans. It is understood in this video that the so-called slogan is on the same facade of The Triumphal Arch with the claimed photo.
The graffiti was first subjected to photo montage by Cem Işık
The name “Cem Işık” can be seen in lower-left corner of the photo which circulates on social media when that part is looked carefully.
Cem Işık has an account on the humor site, bobiler.org. An image dated December 5, 2018 can be found among the shares of Işık on the web site. In the image, a different graffiti produced with photo montage technique exists on the same facade of The Triumphal Arch.
Photo montage is applied to most of the funny shares on bobiler.org by its users. Likewise, the statement “Supir Monte!” in lower-right corner demonstrates this.
Cem Işık shared the same image with the description “Turkish traces in France” on Facebook on December 5, 2018. This image was posted by several users on Twitter on the same date as well. The slogan which Cem Işık inserted on The Triumphal Arch with photo montage technique addresses to an old graffiti.
In the photo changed by Işık, an officer with a white protective clothing and a green vehicle leap to the eye. The so-called photo was produced on the same date when the slogan “Les Gilets Jaunes Triomphent” on The Triumphal Arch was cleared.
According to a news article published in Sudoest on December 5, 2018, the President of the National Monuments Center declared that all slogans which were written on the historical artifacts by the protestors were removed.
In the photo on which Cem Işık applied photo montage, an officer with a white clothing removes the slogan “Les Gilets Jaunes Triomphent” on The Triumphal Arch.
There are other versions of the original image
It is possible to find another version of the original image changed with photo montage on bobiler.org. It was shared on December 8, 2018 by a user called “nazalne.”
Numerous historical artifacts were damaged during the demonstrations
It was stated in a news article of Le Figaro that numerous historical artifacts were damaged by the protestors. The President of the National Monuments Center, Philippe Bélaval shared photos of the damaged artifacts in his tweet dated December 1, 2018. He explained that cost of the damage suffered by the historical artifacts in Paris is thousands of Euro.
The news article published on December 2, 2018 by Montreal Gazette reported that 133 people were injured and over 400 people were arrested during the Paris demonstrations which intensified in Charles de Gaulle Square on December 1, 2018 and caused the damage of many historical artifacts.
Le Figaro, The news article about the damage suffered by The Triumphal Arch, December 2, 2018
Le Parisien, The slogans written on The Triumphal Arch, December 2, 2018
YouTube, The video showing the relevant slogan, December 2, 2018
bobiler.org, Share of Cem Işık, December 5, 2018
Facebook, Share of Cem Işık on Facebook, December 5, 2018
Sudouest, The related news, December 5, 2018
bobiler.org, Another version of the original photo showing the same facade, December 8, 2018
Twitter, Tweet of the President of the National Monuments Center in France, December 1, 018
Montreal Gazette, The news article about the protests on December 1, December 2, 2018
Translation: Sonay ÜN