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Turkey airport ad accuses Sweden of 'highest rape rate'

A billboard at Istanbul's international airport accused Sweden of having the highest rate of rape worldwide, AFP pictures showed just days after Stockholm accused Ankara of legalising sex with children.

Printed in English and Turkish and displayed at the international departures section of Ataturk airport, the huge banner ad reads: "Travel Warning! Did you know that Sweden has the highest rape rate worldwide?"

Alongside it was an enlarged copy of the front page of pro-government newspaper Gunes with a headline declaring: "Sweden, a country of rape," according to AFP pictures.

A Turkish official, who declined to be named, said: "It's an ad for Gunes newspaper and not an official notice."

State-run news agency Anadolu said, billboard advertisements at the airport were operated by a private company.

The advert was largely seen as a tit-for-tat move after Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom caused a storm through a tweet, saying the "Turkish decision to allow sex with children under 15 must be reversed," following a controversial ruling by the Turkish constitutional court.

Her Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu blasted her remark as "unacceptable," saying Wallstrom should have acted "responsibly" while Sweden's charge d'affaires was summoned to the foreign ministry.

The airport ad sparked storm on social media, with several users hitting back at the "propaganda against Sweden" while others agreed with it.

One Twitter handle @Asb Ogrenci wrote: "Sweden, a country of rape #DontTravelToSweden" while another, @ceeean, said: "There are much more cases of rape in (Turkey) than Sweden."

Topics: Sweden , Turkey , Diplomacy , Advertising
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