Turkey recalls Uganda envoy over ancient Greek costume 'scandal'

2018-11-04 16:13
Uganda (iStock)

Uganda (iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Turkish foreign ministry on Saturday recalled its ambassador to Uganda after she was photographed at a reception for Turkey's annual Republic Day wearing a dress reportedly inspired by ancient Greece.

Ambassador Sedef Yavuzalp hosted the reception in Kampala for the annual October 29 holiday marking the founding of the modern Turkish Republic in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

The Twitter feed of Uganda's parliament, whose speaker Rebecca Kadaga was present at the event, posted pictures of Yavuzalp in a robe and an unnamed male Turkish official in what appeared to be a toga.

The nationalist Sozcu daily on Saturday splashed the pictures on its front page, saying that Yavuzalp had dressed as Helen of Troy - whose beauty according to Homer sparked the Trojan War - and the assistant as the Greek god Zeus complete with an olive wreath on his head.

"A great scandal on Republic Day - the ambassador was Helen and her assistant Zeus," it said.

Such associations go down badly with Turkish nationalists who stringently emphasise the Turkishness of the modern state despite the long history of Greek and Roman civilisation on its territory.

In a statement the foreign ministry said that "urgent investigations were launched after the publications of pictures on social media and press of our ambassador at the reception."

"In this framework, the ambassador has been recalled," it added, without giving further details.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also tweeted that the ambassador had been called back.

Sozcu said that Yavuzalp is a career diplomat who has been posted in Kampala for the last five years. Some reports said that the diplomat had been trying to promote the 2018 "Year of Troy", whose remains lay outside the city of Canakkale in western Turkey.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    uganda  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.