Turkey Recalls Diplomat Over Greek Costume Scandal

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.

“An investigation has been launched immediately after we detected the photos and the ambassador was recalled,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoglu said.

Ambassador Sedef Yavuzalp hosted a reception in Kampala, Uganda for the annual Oct. 29 holiday marking the founding of the modern Turkish Republic. The Republic was founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

The Ugandan Parliament posted pictures on their Twitter Feed of Ambassador Yavuzalp in flowing robes and an unnamed Turkish official who appeared to be in a Toga.

The nationalist Sozcu Daily had the pictures printed on the front page of their Saturday paper. The paper wrote that Ambassador Yavuzalp had dressed up as Helen of Troy – whose beauty according to Homer sparked the Trojan War – and the male Turkish official photographed above and below had dressed up 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 are not received well by Turkish nationalists who constantly emphasize the Turkishness of the modern state despite the long history of Greek and Roman civilization on its territory.