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Al-Qaeda leader featured in Turkish hair-removal ad

Marketers found the photo on a popular Turkish social media site where images of Mohammed were used for comic purposes

Published: Updated:

A Turkish cosmetics company came under fire after using a photo of an al-Qaeda terrorist as a cover for a hair-removal product, Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported.

A photo of former al-Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who alleged in 2007 he was a mastermind behind the September 11 attacks, was juxtaposed next to a slogan that read: “Waiting won’t get rid of that hair!”

The photo is believed to have been taken in 2003 during Mohammed’s arrest.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is shown in this photograph during his arrest on March 1, 2003. (File photo: Reuters)
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is shown in this photograph during his arrest on March 1, 2003. (File photo: Reuters)

“We didn’t know that he was a terrorist. This image is in popular use in Turkish memes on the Internet. The guy is quite hairy, so we thought his body was a good fit for our ad,” Mehmet Can Yildiz from the cosmetics company, told Hurriyet.

Marketers found the photo on a popular Turkish social media site where images of Mohammed were used for comic purposes.

“Several popular caps [humorously captioned images] were produced with his photo. Most were related to insomnia,” he said.

“We didn’t want to imply anything political. We didn’t know that it could become an international story. I repeat: We featured him for his hair, not terrorism,” Yilidiz reassured.


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