The Turkish Ambassador in Uganda Sedef Yavuzalp has been recalled following complaints about her dress code during country’s Independence Day celebrations in Kampala.
Photos of the ambassador wearing a Greek mythology-inspired outfit at the 95th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey caused uproar on social media, leading to her recalling.
At the event which was graced by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa, Yavuzalp showed up wearing an outfit imitating Greek mythological figure Helen of Troy, whereas one of her embassy officials also donned a fancy dress, which many said was intended to be the Greek god Zeus.
Many commentators questioned why Yavuzalp wore this outfit on a day organised to commemorate Turkey, while some argued that it was always inappropriate for a diplomat to don fancy dress.
Following the concerns, the Turkish Foreign Mevlut Cavusoglu announced last evening that the ambassador was being recalled.
“Immediately after the investigation of the photographs of the Turkish Ambassador in Uganda, which were in some media and social media, these photos were immediately identified and the Ambassador was called back,” the foreign minister tweeted.
Some Turkish opposition leaders had called for a full investigation of the actions of the ambassador.
However, Ambassador Yavuzalp during her speech at the Kololo event explained her attire, saying that this year’s Independence Day celebrations were being marked in 2018 the year of “Year of Troy”, which marks the 20th anniversary of the archaeological site’s addition to the World Heritage List, and links this to the development of modern-day Turkey.
“As you all know, the Epic of Troy — The Iliad and the Odyssey, which form the basis of Western civilization, has inspired great leaders who have shaped the world and changed the course of history”, she said.
“The 4,000-year-old Troia Epic is one of the most ancient values of our homeland, Anatolia. What makes this a very unique and universal value is the fact that it is the unification of war and struggle, of peace and tolerance at the same time.”