Banksy unveils NY mural in support of jailed Turkish artist


After a 5-year hiatus from New York City, the world's most famous street artist Banksy is back with a mural depicting the controversial incarceration of Zehra Doğan, the Turkish Journalist who was jailed for simply painting a watercolor.

The mural consist of black marks, representing prison bars and serve as a marker for the number of days that Dogan has spent imprisoned. Banksy's work is timed to coincide with the first year of her prison term; two years, nine months and 22 days. In one of the cells a portrait of the artist appears behind the marks, gripping at the jail cells bars, with one of the bars doubling as a pencil. She has written for and was editor-in-chief of NYU's Washington Square News. A painting of her face peers from behind bars. It protests the imprisonment of Turkish artist and journalist Zehra Dogan, who was sentenced last March for painting the destruction of a Turkish town, with the country's flag flying over rubble.

On Thursday night, a new graffiti work by elusive British artist, Banksy appeared in NY. According to The New York Times, she is not yet aware of the mural's existence. Ironically, Doğan's painting was based on an image circulated on social media by the Turkish military itself in the aftermath of operations in Nusaybin.

Zehra Doğan, an ethnic Kurd, was arrested on July 21, 2016 after producing the painting, which depicts the damage inflicted upon Nusaybin, a city close to the Syrian border and populated largely by Kurds. However, [the Turkish government] caused this. "I've painted things much more worthy of a custodial sentence". I only painted it,"Dogan is not only a painter but an award-winning journalist". The award is named for Metin Göktepe, a journalist tortured and murdered in the custody of the Turkish police in 1996. She was charged with being connected to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, an armed group calling for an independent Kurdish state within Turkey. She has not allowed her imprisonment to keep her from her journalistic pursuits, having set up the newspaper Özgür Gündem Zindan (Free Agenda Dungeon) alongside other women from within prison.