A video of a Victoria’s Secret lingerie model giving a salute synonymous with a Turkish terror group responsible for the deaths of hundreds has sent the internet into a frenzy, The Daily Mail reported Monday.
Veteran model Adriana Lima, 34, recorded with a grainy mobile phone along with another man, can be seen making the gesture associated with The Grey Wolves, the militant arm of the right-wing National Movement Party in Turkey. Lima can also be heard saying the word Bozkurtlar the Turkish word for wolf and howling into the camera.
A spokesperson for Lima said the mother-of-two was duped into performing the gesture, saying that the man in the video told her the salute was a symbol for his local gym in his native Turkey.
“The video was prompted and taped by a Turkish boxer who visited Adriana’s local gym in Miami earlier this summer,” the spokesperson said. “She was told the hand signal and call-out were the names of his local gym.”
“She was unaware of the wider context of what she was doing or its association to a political group,” the spokesperson went on to say, adding “She is personally disappointed that her good will was taken advantage of to create a video, released without her knowledge or consent, that upsets any community.”
The Turkish para-military group known as The Grey Wolves was formed in the 1960’s, and by the 1970’s was turned into a “death squad” responsible for hundreds of political assassinations. In 1981, the group attempted to murder John Paul II, shooting and critically wounding the pontiff in St Peter’s Square Rome, according to The Daily Mail.
Experts classify the organization as neo-fascist and extremely violent.
The epicenter of rage is mostly centered in Turkey, mainly among the Kurdish population which has been a favorite target of the group over the last four decades.
“It’s sad and depressing that such a famous person is giving credit to such a racist, fascist ideology,” Kurdish rights campaigner Mark Campbell told The Daily Mail.
“The Grey Wolves is a fascist organization, they are extreme Turkish nationalists who partake in street violence, mainly against Kurdish people in Turkey,” Cambell said, adding, “It is a very unsavory group.”
Campbell went on to say that “the salute is extremely offensive. It’s an incredibly scary thing – it’s a symbol of of trying to show their dominance over the Kurds.”