Sale of doll with swastika suspended over reaction

Published 22.06.2016 22:23

Sale of a bizarre doll with a swastika on its forehead and prayer beads in its hands was suspended after it received harsh reaction from social media and Turkey's Jewish community.

The doll was on sale at a gas station grocery store on a busy highway in the northern Turkish city of Bolu, and gained notoriety after social media users shared photos. İshak İbrahimzadeh, a leader of Turkey's Jewish community, has condemned the doll and described it as "a scandal" on Twitter, while social media users lashed out at the proprietors of the store.

After the image went viral on Tuesday, the store's owners said they were no longer selling the doll and pulled it off the shelves. Ali Sert, who runs the store, told Doğan News Agency yesterday that they were unaware of the swastika on the dolls, as the packaging hid the forehead, and said they had immediately stopped sales after a customer complained. Sert said they purchased the dolls along with other toys on sale from a company that imported them from China. "A customer said it was wrong to sell such toys and I removed them from our shelves less than one hour after she complained and returned the dolls to the company." Sert did not say how many dolls they had sold before they suspended sales, but apologized for what he called a mistake. He said they put the dolls on sale "because we thought the customers would like it as they had prayer beads," an item common in many faiths.

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