Turkey's move to deport Syrians over banana videos 'violates human rights'

The HDP has slammed Turkey's move to deport seven Syrians over banana videos and said that Ankara's decision is a violation of human rights. "These migrants can't be left to die," the party said.

Duvar English

The Migrants and Refugees Commission of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) said that it was illegal for the government to deport seven Syrians over videos of them eating bananas in response to a street interview where a Turkish man contrasted the financial wellbeing of Syrians to Turks, Mesopotamia Agency reported on Oct. 29.

Turkey's Directorate General of Migration said on Oct. 27 that they would deport seven Syrians who shared "provocative" videos of themselves eating bananas in reference to a street interview where a citizen said that he couldn't afford to buy bananas, but that Syrian residents could afford it "in bulk."

"I can't afford bananas, but Syrians buy them in kilograms," the Turkish national was heard saying in the interview.

The comparison stems mostly from the social media rumors and speeches of nationalist politicians that claim Syrians live comfortably on government aid whereas Turkish nationals suffer from the economic crisis and unemployment.

"The government is a party in a propaganda to cast migrants as the reason behind the economic crisis," the HDP commission said. 

The government has shown a solid portrayal of their migration policies since the lynching of Syrians in Ankara's Altındağ neighborhood, antagonizing the minorities further instead of taking legal safeguards against racist attacks, the statement said.

"Instead, the officials are detaining migrants without reason, imprisoning them in repatriation centers and inflicting practices that could be dubbed 'torture."

The government's attitude is in breach of international treaties and human rights principles, the HDP committee said. 

"They handed footage of 11 Syrians getting detained across Istanbul to the press. They're trying to make the immigrants seem like they are living in luxury by using up citizens' resources," the HDP committee noted. 

The government can't leave refugees to die when a war that Turkey was involved in is ongoing in Syria, the committee said, adding that "this is a criminal violation of the right to life and basic human rights."