Turkish newscaster fired over ‘pro-Israel’ Starbucks cup

Turkish TV network fires anchor, claiming her Starbucks coffee was a pro-Israel statement.

World Israel News, Vered Weiss

An award-winning TV news anchor in Turkey was fired for having a Starbucks cup on her desk on air.

The problem wasn’t the clutter–it’s that Starbucks is perceived as pro-Israel in Turkey.

Meltem Günay, a 45-year-old newscaster with TGRT Haber, along with the program director, was promptly fired right after the offensive cup appeared on the desk during the broadcast.

TGRT Haber made no apologies for the abrupt sacking of the journalist, and said that someone with her experience should have “an understanding that knows the sensitivities of the Turkish people regarding Gaza.”

“We do not approve of this action of the presenter and director, whose employment contracts were terminated, and we strongly condemn it.”

The statement went on to say that the newscaster and program director were fired “for just cause” because they “acted contrary to this principle.”

Pro-Palestinian Turks have been vocal about their disapproval of Starbucks, which they see as a pro-Israel company.

On social media, Starbucks has become a persona non grata, and many activists have filmed themselves protesting in front of a Starbucks and demanding the establishment be shut down.

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Prior to the war, Israel and Turkey were inching closer towards normalization.

However, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since the war began has spoken in harsh terms about Israel, has called President Benjamin Netanyahu “the butcher of Gaza” and has said Israel’s operations in Gaza show that it’s “worse than Hitler.”

Meanwhile, in the United States pro-Palestinian Starbucks employees have been protesting against the multi-national coffee seller.

They have organized boycotts and some Starbucks locations have been vandalized.

“Many of our stores have experienced incidents of vandalism. We see protesters influenced by misrepresentation on social media of what we stand for. We have worked with local authorities to ensure our partners and customers are safe,” said CEO Laxman Narasimhan.