Monday, 26. January 2015
03. 04. 13. - 16:00
Lego managers have rejected a Muslim group's claims that they backed down and agreed to withdraw their Star wars model of Jabba the Hutt's palace after they were flooded with complaints from Star Wars fans.
Last week Turkish community leaders in the Austrian capital Vienna sent out a press release saying they had forced Lego to scrap the toy after a campaign declaring the set "sacrilege" and "racist."
The row first erupted in January, after a Muslim dad complained when a relative bought one of the toys for his son as a Christmas present. And in the press release Birol Kilic - president of the Turkish Cultural Association of Austria - claimed Lego had climbed down over the row.
He wrote: "We are very grateful and congratulate Lego on the decision from 2014 to take the Lego Star Wars product Jabba's Palace out of production and no longer to have it on sale."
But now Lego has accused the Turkish group of misrepresenting the reality and say that the decision to stop the line at the end of 2014 had nothing to do with Turkish pressure.
Lego executives brand manager Katharina Sutch however said that the press release, timed to appear over Easter when no-one at the firm was available to comment, was not true.
She said: "As a normal process products in the Lego Star Wars assortment usually have a life-cycle of one to three years and are not in the portfolio after this time any more after that, although they might be renewed after a couple of years.
"The Lego Star Wars product Jabba's Palace 9516 was planned from the beginning to only be in the assortment until the End of 2013 as new exiting models from the Star Wars universe are set to follow.
"Therefore the decision to exit the product by the end of the year is not a result of our dialogue with the Turkish cultural community but a planned exit. In short - the decision to stop production from the end of 2013 had nothing to do with the complaint."
Turkish cultural leaders claimed that Jabba's palace had been modelled closely on a real life Muslim Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul.
They said Asian and oriental figures included in the set had been portrayed as "deceitful" and criminal" characters like slave masters, gun runners and terrorists.
Angry critics also claimed that depicting guns and weapons inside a building that was "clearly" based on a mosque was an "act of sacrilege."
The slug-like Jabba himself - seen puffing on a traditional water pipe - was shown as a "terrorist" who "likes to smoke hookah and have his victims killed", said cultural leaders.
Melissa Gunes - general secretary of the Turkish cultural association - said : "In this Lego set Jabba is portrayed as the bad man.
"He also smokes an oriental water pipe, and keeps a princess as a belly dancer in chains. That is the sort of thing that does not belong in a child's bedroom."
And a picture of the Satanic-horned baddie Darth Maul on the packaging was described as "shocking."
First Images Of Eurovision Stage
These are the first images of the design for the Eurovision Song Contest stage unveiled in the Austrian capital Vienna which is the home of last year's winner Conchita Wurst.
Russian Mafia Boss Nabbed At Vienna Railway Station
A Russian mobster wanted for a string of brutal murders was arrested in the gentile Austrian capital Vienna when commandos swooped as he went to buy a train ticket.
Teen Girls Arrested After Offering Themselves To IS Fighters
Austrian officials who recently cracked down on terrorism by arresting several people believed to be recruiting and fundraising for ISIS have revealed two more teenage girls tried to leave the country to marry terrorist fighters.
Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student
Austria has yet to record its first case of Ebola, but the feared virus has already had a severe impact on the lives of Africans living in Vienna.
Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus
Whilst the world-famous Wizard of Oz played at the Volksoper, there was another Wizard in the Konzerthaus giving his 16th performance in Vienna!
Penelope Cruz To Play The Ice Cream Killer
The memoirs of the woman dubbed the Ice Cream Killer after she shot dead two ex-lovers before hacking the bodies up with a chainsaw and telling neighbours the noise was a new ice cream machine are due to be turned into a blockbuster with Penelope Cruz playing the lead role.
Kid Left In Coma After Beaten By Teacher For Talking
This is the shocking image of a little Chinese girl before and after she was punished by her teacher - for talking in class.
Freezing Rain Causes Chaos In Central Europe
Freezing weather has arrived in Europe with a vengeance with a layer of ice blanketing parts of Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic and causing traffic chaos.
Holey Smoke As Car Disappears Down Sinkhole
Motorist Wei Hsiao found himself in a hole lot of trouble in China when a giant sinkhole opened up on the road beneath him, swallowing his entire car.
Shock Moment Police Helicopter Explodes On Street
This is the moment a police helicopter exploded into a spinning ball of flame in Chile when a fire truck clipped one of its rotors.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Russian Mafia Boss Nabbed At Vienna Railway Station|
|First Images Of Eurovision Stage|
|OAP Adopts Over 30 Disabled Children|
|Butterfly Boy Whose Skin Is Falling Off|
|Vigilantes Filmed Beating Woman For Talking To Man|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.