Syrians face deportation from Turkey over banana videos

Oct 29, 2021, 10:58 PM | Updated: Oct 30, 2021, 10:59 am

ISTANBUL (AP) — Seven Syrians face deportation from Turkey after posting videos of themselves eating bananas on social media amid wider complaints about the supposed lifestyle of refugees, a Turkish news agency reported Saturday.

The seven, plus a Syrian minor, were detained in the western city of Izmir on Friday, the private news agency Demiroren said. Earlier in the week, the Turkish migration authority said another seven foreign nationals were to be processed for deportation for related reasons.

Videos of people purporting to be Syrians eating bananas have sprung up since footage from an online news outlet emerged on Oct. 17 showing an argument on an Istanbul street between a young Syrian woman and a group of Turks.

A middle-aged man is heard complaining: “You’re living comfortably. I can’t eat a banana, you’re buying kilos of bananas.” A woman also criticizes Syrians for not fighting in the country’s war but returning for religious festivals.

One TikTok video posted in response showed a group of young men laughing while munching on bananas in a barber shop as the soundtrack of the street interview played in the background.

Turkey hosts the world’s largest refugee population, mostly made up of 3.6 million Syrians living under temporary protection. While they were largely welcomed at the start of the conflict, worsening economic conditions in Turkey has seen local sentiment turn against them.

Some Turks complain Syrians are living comfortably in Turkey while they struggle to pay for basics amid high unemployment and inflation.

Demiroren reported that those detained in Izmir were to be deported for “threatening public order and security.” The minor was transferred to an agency for juveniles.

In a statement released Wednesday, the Directorate General of Migration Management said “deportation proceedings will be initiated” against seven foreigners after they had been processed by the justice system.

It added that “efforts are underway to uncover all the provocative posts … and to carry out the necessary judicial and administrative procedures against all individuals who make these posts.”

The following day, Istanbul police said 11 Syrians had been detained for “inciting hatred” and “insulting the Turkish people.”

It wasn’t clear where those detained would be deported to. The principle of nonrefoulement prohibits returning someone to a place where they face the risk of persecution or mistreatment.

Turkey insists it respects and abides by these rules, but groups such as Human Rights Watch have documented claims of Syrians being sent back to their country.


Follow AP’s global migration coverage at

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

How company off-sites are changing business travel

Business travel used to mean sending employees from their home office to somewhere else — to meet with clients or coworkers at other offices. But for many remote-first companies, it now means the opposite: Bringing employees together from their far-flung homes to work and meet in person. These so-called “off-sites” — a holdover term from […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Serbian police detain migrant smugglers, find weapons, money

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbian special police on Wednesday raided a makeshift camp near the border with Hungary where they found 200 migrants, detained people smugglers and confiscated weapons and money. The police operation in Srpski Krstur, by the Tisa river that runs along the border with Hungary, comes just two days after Serbia, Hungary […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

EU agrees on price cap for Russian oil over Ukraine war

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union countries agreed on Wednesday to impose new sanctions on Russia after it illegally annexed four regions in Ukraine, according to an EU official, including an expected price cap on Russian oil. EU member-state diplomats struck the deal in Brussels, said the official representing the Czech Republic, which holds the 27-nation […]
1 day ago
Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the World Trade Organisation, WTO, speaks to the...
Associated Press

WTO predicts trade growth to slow next year amid crises

GENEVA (AP) — The World Trade Organization is predicting global trade volumes will grow a lackluster 1% next year as crises and challenges weigh on markets, including high energy prices, rising interest rates and uncertainties about Chinese manufacturing output amid the lingering COVID-19 pandemic. The Geneva-based trade body said Wednesday that the amount of goods […]
1 day ago
A resident wades through floodwaters, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Ubon Ratchathani province, northe...
Associated Press

Thai capital on alert for flooding as heavy rains expected

BANGKOK (AP) — Authorities in Thailand warned Wednesday of possible serious flooding in the capital and other parts of the central region from heavy seasonal rainfall expected through the rest of the week. The situation is being worsened by a large volume of water moving downriver from flooding in northern provinces and from discharges from […]
1 day ago
Men weep as they offer prayer outside Kanjuruhan Stadium where a soccer stampede killed more than 1...
Associated Press

Indonesian leader says locked gates contributed to deaths

MALANG, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo said on Wednesday that locked gates had contributed to the crush at the soccer stadium that left 131 dead and over 400 injured when police fired tear gas and set off a panicked run for the exits. Widodo made the statement after touring the Kanjuruhan soccer stadium […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Syrians face deportation from Turkey over banana videos