Turkish fashion model, Merve Akkanat has caused a stir with her controversial justification for turning down a job offer in the Greek capital.
Awarded the top prize in Turkey’s Top Model contest in Istanbul last week, Akkanat revealed to Turkish media that she had rejected the offer to participate in Athens Fashion Week this month because of Greece’s attitude “towards our country” and that it Greece “should know its place” given the two countries’ history.
“I received a proposal for the fashion week in Athens on March 30. But I recently rejected it because of Greece’s attitude towards our country,” Akkanat said.
“Greece should know its place because we are the grandchildren of Ottoman,” added the model.
“We know how to hand an olive branch to the oppressed, but also the Ottoman slap to the ones who deserve it.”
Tensions between Greece and Turkey have been particularly heightened of late, with Turkey violating Greek air space and intruding Greek waters a number of times. Additionally, two Greek soldiers are currently being held in custody for four weeks, which has caused outrage in Greece and across Europe.
Leaders from the European Union came to Greece’s defence last week during a meeting in Brussels where they formally condemned Turkey for its aggression towards its Mediterranean neighbours.
“The European Council urgently calls on Turkey to cease these actions,” a draft read.