Turkcell drops Valentine’s advert over accusations of anti-Semitism

Published February 14th, 2016 - 12:52 GMT
The advert featured a famous singer who had made anti-Semitic comments in the past. (AFP/File)
The advert featured a famous singer who had made anti-Semitic comments in the past. (AFP/File)

Turkcell, the largest mobile phone operator in Turkey, has pulled an anti-Valentine’s day advert which had prompted concerns of anti-Semitism. The advert mocked Valentine’s day, showing young single people singing along to a song by Yildiz Tilbe, a Turkish singer.

While the advert itself did not target any religious or ethnic group, the fact that Tilbe’s song was used caused controversy due to her past anti-Semitic comments.

The Turkcell CEO, Kaan Terzioglu, said that the company had dropped the advert because Turkcell respects sensitivities for nations and religions.

“We pulled the video because no content is worth ignoring the sensitivities of 'any' nation or religion,” he said.

Tilbe sparked outrage in 2014 after making comments which praised Hitler and his policy towards the Jews. She reportedly said, “God bless Hitler, it was even too few what he did to the Jews, he was right” and, “The Jews will be destroyed by Muslims, in the name of Allah, not much time left for it to be done.”

A petition was launched to stop the advert, with many people claiming that Turkcell—a phone operator with 35 million subscribers—should not have used someone like Tilbe in an advert.


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