By Tim Binnall
The mystery surrounding a monolith discovered in Turkey near the famed ancient site Gobekli Tepe has proven to be rather short-lived as it was revealed today that the piece was a government-sponsored publicity stunt connected to the announcement of the country's newly created space program. The odd object, which was discovered late last week, sparked headlines both because it appeared to be a revival of the monolith crazy from 2020 as well as the fact that it was located worryingly close to a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Although authorities dispatched guards to watch over the piece and sternly promised a full investigation into the matter, it turns out that their bold actions were merely a clever ruse which became clear on Tuesday when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a press conference announcing the country's ambitious new space program. During the event, an image of the monolith was showcased on a giant screen and he echoed the words inscribed on the piece, declaring "look at the sky, and you will see the moon."
Explaining the meaning of the cryptic phrase, Erdogan indicated that the country's space program aims to make "contact with the moon" by 2023 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. Additional aspirations announced at the event included sending a Turkish citizen into space for the first time and developing a spaceport with yet-to-be-named allied nations. Having served its purpose and perhaps in an attempt to generate one last bit of buzz, the monolith 'vanished' on Tuesday morning a few hours prior to the press conference.