District municipalities in Istanbul switch to Turkish payment system in Israel boycott

19 Justice and Development Party (AKP) district municipalities in Istanbul have switched to the Turkish payment system TROY from international ones for their internal finances in a boycott effort against "Israel supporters."

Duvar English

Several local municipalities, mostly run by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have switched to Turkey’s domestic card scheme TROY from the current international systems to handle their salary payments in an effort to boycott “supporters of Israel.”

TROY is a Turkey-based payment systems provider established in 2015 and has recently gained popularity with rising boycott efforts against U.S.-based payment systems.

Mayors of municipalities that have switched to TROY shared the move on their social media accounts.

Ömer Arısoy, the mayor of the Zeytinburnu Municipality has stated through the municipalities’ social media accounts, “We continue our boycott of Israel and its supporters. We arranged the necessary meetings and set the process in motion. We are switching to TROY as the Zeytinburnu Municipality.” 

“We are switching to our domestic, national payment system TROY,” stated Şile Mayor İlhan Ocaklı. 

So far, 19 of the 39 district municipalities in Istanbul province have switched to TROY. These are the municipalities of Beykoz, Esenler, Kağıthane, Üsküdar, Sultanbeyli, Sultangazi, Sancaktepe, Tuzla, Pendik, Bağcılar, Başakşehir, Çekmeköy, Gaziosmanpaşa, Eyüpsultan, Ümraniye, Fatih, Zeytinburnu, Şile, and Beyoğlu.

All municipalities that have switched to TROY are run by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has won 23 of the 39 municipalities of Istanbul in the 2019 local elections. 

Over the past month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government have sharply criticized Israel's assault on Gaza and Western support for Jerusalem.

Individual as well as institutional boycott efforts against Israel and U.S.-based businesses are ongoing. Most recently, the Turkish parliament stopped serving Nestlé and Coca-Cola products at its restaurant. 

AKP Youth Groups have also boycotted Starbucks, whose Turkey branch is owned by the Kuwaiti Alshaya Group. Individuals have attacked McDonald’s and Burger King restaurants in Istanbul, although they are owned by Qatari and Turkish companies respectively.