Turkish hair removal product ad featuring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed pic.twitter.com/KImYWPjaop— yusuf sayman (@ysfsymn) October 31, 2014
The ad by “Epila” features a chest-up image of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is known as the “principal architect” of the 9/11 attacks. The caption in Turkish language alongside it translates to: “Waiting won’t get rid of that hair!”
The photo used in the ad is an infamous shot which was taken shortly after Mohammed was captured in Pakistan in 2003. But the company’s PR and advertising team was unaware of it – apparently.
According to the company, they didn’t know he was a terrorist.
"We didn't know that he was a terrorist," Mehmet Can Yıldız, a spokesman for Epila, told the Hurriyet Daily – Turkey’s leading newspaper. "The guy is quite hairy, so we thought his body was a good fit for our ad."
Adding it was picked up from online community and social media websites, Yıldız added the photo is commonly used in Turkish memes on the Internet.
"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," Yıldız stated.
Khaled Mohammed is currently being held at the United States military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.