Street artist extraordinaire Shepard Fairey has issued a response to the ongoing protests in Turkey.

shepard fairey ataturk portrait


The graphic designer released a portrait of the former Turkish leader, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, on his OBEY Giant website, expressing his support for the country's peaceful demonstrators. The image of Turkey's first president, crafted in Fairey's signature, ornamental style, was created by the artist several years ago but has been posted online as a free, downloadable artwork this week, accompanied by the following message:

"A few years ago I made an image of Ataturk at the request of a Turkish friend. Ataturk was a champion of Turkish Democracy and secular government. I am offering a free download of my Ataturk image as a symbol of democracy and free speech."

Fairey goes on to explain, in his opinion, the state of affairs plaguing Turkey now. "The overall issue is that the current Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government have come too far towards authoritarianism, dictatorship and fascism, and farther away from Ataturk’s founding and modern society’s democratic and secular principles," he wrote on his blog.

The artist has been known to take a political stance in his works, supporting the presidency of Barack Obama with his uber-famous "Hope" posters and taking a stand against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with his various dove murals. Scroll through the images below for more of the Fairey's work and let us know your thoughts on his Ataturk portrait in the comments.

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  • Shepard Fairey Paints New Mural On Deitch Wall

    NEW YORK - APRIL 20: Shepard Fairey paints new mural on Deitch Wall on April 20, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Cory Schwartz/Getty Images)

  • Shepard Fairey Paints New Mural On Deitch Wall

    NEW YORK - APRIL 20: Shepard Fairey paints new mural on Deitch Wall on April 20, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Cory Schwartz/Getty Images)

  • A woman talks on her mobile phone next t

    A woman talks on her mobile phone next to a roadside vendor of mobile phone jackets in front of a poster of US urban artist Shepard Fairey, June 8, 2010 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel Dunand (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Artworks By Banksy Go Up For Auction In The Bonhams Urban Art Sale

    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Bonhams interns stand beside a work entitled 'Duality of Humanity II' by Shepard Fairey at Bonhams Auction house on September 16, 2011 in London, England. The piece makes up part of the 'Urban Art' sale, and is expected to fetch between £15,000 - £20,000 GBP when it goes under the hammer on September 21, 2001 at Bonhams Auction house in London. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Artworks By Banksy Go Up For Auction In The Bonhams Urban Art Sale

    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: A piece of work entitled Black Panther' by Shepard Fairey at Bonhams Auction house on September 16, 2011 in London, England. The piece makes up part of the 'Urban Art' sale, and is expected to fetch between £3,000 - £5,000 GBP when it goes under the hammer on September 21, 2001 at Bonhams Auction house in London. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • US contemporary graphic designer and ill

    US contemporary graphic designer and illustrator, Shepard Fairey (L) signs autograph in front his work, a new piece on a section of wall in the 13th district of Paris, on June 17, 2012. Fairey is well known for his Andre the Giant-inspired Obey logo and his series of posters supporting Barack Obama's 2008 candidacy for President of the United States, including the iconic 'HOPE' portrait. AFP PHOTO / PIERRE VERDY (Photo credit should read PIERRE VERDY/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Shepard Fairey For The Art Of Elysium's View Program

    LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 16: (L-R) CEO LAC+USC Pete Delgado and artist Shepard Fairey attend the offcial unveiling of a wall mural that Shepard Fairey donated to the USC Hospital through the art of Elysium's View Program on August 16, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Art of Elysium)

  • A picture taken on March 27, 2010 in Par

    A picture taken on March 27, 2010 in Paris shows walls covered with notably a graffiti (R) featuring a man's face by US artist Shepard Fairey aka Obey Giant. AFP PHOTO JOEL SAGET (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-URBAN ART-AUCTION-PREVIEW

    A man looks at 'Panther Power,' a work on canvas by Shepard Fairey, at a media preview of Bonhams' inaugural US auction of Urban Art, October 24, 2012 in Hollywood, California. At left is 'Senor Suerte,' (estimate 'USD $40,000-$60,000) by Chaz Borjorquez, whose work is inflenced by Mexican-American street art as well as the study of Chinese calligraphy. The auction, which features historical works by pioneering graffiti artists as well as pieces by contemporary artists who have redefined the Urban Art genre, will take place on October 29. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE / MANDATORY CREDIT OF THE ARTIST / TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION == (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Shepard Fairey

    FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2009 file photo, Los Angeles street artist Shepard Fairey poses in front of the Barack Obama Hope artwork he designed in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles. Fairey was sentenced in Manhattan Federal court in New York, Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, to two years of probation and 300 hours of community service for destroying and fabricating documents in a civil lawsuit pertaining to The Associated Press photograph he relied upon to make the poster. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

  • US-POLITICS-INAUGURATION-ART

    Visitors walk past Shepard Fairey's portrait of US President Barack Obama, based on a photograph by Mannie Garcia, at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington on January 19, 2013, two days before Obama's second inauguration. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM = MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION = (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Ali Larter, Shepard Fairey

    Ali Larter and Shepard Fairey attend the LA Art Show hosted by Ali Larter and Hayes MacArthur Benefiting the Art of Elysium at the LA Convention Center on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP)

  • VEVO TV Launch At SXSW

    AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Artist Shepard Fairey attends VEVO TV Launch At SXSW on March 12, 2013 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for VEVO)

  • VEVO TV Launch At SXSW

    AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Artist Shepard Fairey attends VEVO TV Launch At SXSW on March 12, 2013 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for VEVO)

  • VEVO TV Launch At SXSW

    AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Artist Shepard Fairey attends VEVO TV Launch At SXSW on March 12, 2013 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for VEVO)