Commercial featuring Adolf Hitler incenses Jewish community;
rabbinate´s request to pull ad has so far been declined.
ISTANBUL - A Turkish shampoo commercial featuring an enraged Adolf
Hitler is a "huge insult to human rights" and should be withdrawn,
leaders of the country´s Jewish community said on Monday.
The 13-second television spot for Biomen shampoo shows black-and-
white archival footage of the Nazi leader at a political rally.
Dubbed in Turkish, he shouts that men should not use women´s shampoo.
"Using Hitler, whose brutal ideology caused the deaths of millions of
people, in a commercial in order to be different or create awareness
(of a product) is unacceptable," said a statement posted on
Istanbul´s chief rabbinate´s website.
The rabbinate contacted Istanbul-based Biota Laboratories - which
makes Biomen - to ask them to pull the ad but the company has so far
declined to scrap it, saying the commercial´s message was humorous,
Jewish community leader Silvyo Ovadya told Reuters.
No one from Biota was immediately available to comment about the ad
or the rabbinate´s complaint.
"We will pursue legal means now," Ovadya said. "The ad is also
demeaning to women."
He did not say which legal means the community might pursue. In
Turkey, the Industry Ministry´s advertising commission oversees
content in television advertising and is authorized to pull
commercials and issue financial penalties for those that violate
About 20,000 Jews live in Turkey, mainly Istanbul, a city of some 14
million Muslims. Most are descendants of Sephardim who escaped the
Spanish Inquisition and found refuge in the Ottoman Empire some 500
The community has suffered violent attacks, including the bombing by
al-Qaida of two synagogues that killed 27 people in 2003.
Jewish leaders have expressed concern about rising anti-Semitism in
Turkey since relations with Israel, a former military ally, soured
after the 2010 raid by the IDF of the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish-led
ship bound for Gaza. Nine Turkish activists, one with dual US
citizenship, died in the raid.
The New York-based Anti-Defamation League said it was "repulsed" by
the use of Hitler´s image to sell shampoo.