Turkish parliament removes brands from menu over 'Israel support'

Turkish Parliament Speaker Kurtulmuş stated that the parliament has decided to stop serving certain products in its restaurants due to their support for Israel during the ongoing siege and massacres in Gaza. Sources reached by Reuters stated that these brands were Coca-Cola and Nestle.

This picture shows the entrance of the Turkish Parliament's "members restaurant."

Duvar English

Turkish Parliament removed Coca-Cola and Nestle products from its restaurants on Nov. 7 over their support for Israel amid the attacks in Gaza, according to spokesperson Numan Kurtulmuş and sources reached by Reuters.

The two companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment to Reuters.

"The products of companies that support Israel will not be sold in restaurants, cafeterias and tea houses in the parliament campus," Turkey's Grand National Assembly said, without identifying the companies.

Speaker Kurtulmuş made the decision, it added, in order to "support public sensitivity regarding boycotting products of companies who have openly declared their support for Israel's war crimes (and) killing of innocent people in Gaza".

A parliamentary source said Coca-Cola beverages and Nestle instant coffee were the only brands removed from menus, adding the decision was meant to respond to "huge public outcry against these companies" for supporting Israel.

Neither the parliament statement nor the source specified how Coca-Cola and Nestle supported Israel's war effort.

Last month Nestle said it temporarily shut down of one of its production plants in Israel as a "precaution", becoming the first consumer products giant to announce a response to the war.

Turkish activists have in recent days named both companies in social media posts that call for boycotts of Israeli goods and Western companies they view as endorsing Israel.

The Turkish parliament's move is among the first by a government or major organization to target big global brands over the month-long siege and attacks of Israel on Palestinians.

As a response to the critiques toward continuing economic relations between Israel and Turkey, Turkish trade minister Ömer Bolat stated, "From Oct. 7, we notice that mutual trade (between Turkey and Israel) decreased by more than 50% compared to last year."

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.

Israel has bombarded Gaza since a Hamas raid on southern Israel a month ago, when its fighters killed 1,400 people and seized 240 hostages.

Israel's assault has killed more than 10,000 Palestinians, including some 4,100 children as the Israel's air force has been carpet bombing Gaza for weeks.

Hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets to protest against Israeli operations into Gaza over the past month in Turkey.