Lego Star Wars accused of racism

Turkish commission says toy looks like Istanbul mosque.

Lego has been accused of racism by the Turkish community, after it has been claimed a new Star Wars set resembles one of the country’s most symbolic mosques.

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Jabba's Lego Palace (Credit: Lego)
According to the Turkish Cultural Commission of Austria, the model of Jabba’s Palace, home of crime lord Jabba The Hutt, shares an unwanted similarity with Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Mosque.

The Commission also argued that the accompanying Lego figures depicted Asians and Orientals as criminals, even taking issue with Jabba’s hookah smoking.

A statement on the organisation’s website read: “It is clear that the ugly figure of Jabba and the whole scene smacks of racial prejudice and vulgar insinuations against Asians and Orientals as people with deceitful and criminal personalities.”

The Hagia Sophia Mosque (Credit: Rex)
In response to the accusations, Lego PR manager Katharina Sasse denied any resemblance to the Istanbul Mosque, stating that the product “does not reflect any actually existing buildings, people, or the mentioned mosque”.

They added: “We regret that the product has caused the members of the Turkish cultural community to come to a wrong interpretation, but point out that when designing the product only the fictional content of the ‘Star Wars’ saga were referred to.”

The Turkish Cultural Commission of Austria is believed to be considering legal action.