Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Andrii Sybiha has slammed the municipality of the Alanya district of the southern province of Antalya for playing the Soviet song Katyusha to mark May 9 Victory Day.
The municipality run by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) played the song to celebrate Victory Day, which is a holiday that commemorates Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.
“I want to think that our Turkish friends in Alanya were misguided. The fact that the Alanya Municipality supports this provocative act indicates disrespect for the emotions of millions of Ukrainians,” Sybiha said on Twitter on May 11.
“Are Ukrainian tourists unwanted in Alanya?” he also asked.
Footage showed Mayor Adem Murat Yücel and several others, including a singer, on a municipality bus touring the city while Katyusha played.
The envoy also said that the act was in breach of social distancing rules imposed amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Another issue is that the participants of the act have breached quarantine rules via putting people around them in danger,” Sybiha said.
Dozens of Turkish social media users commented on the ambassador’s tweet, with many saying that it was probably unintentional.
Katyusha, one of the most popular songs of the Red Army, gained fame during the World War II as a patriotic song.