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Turkish parliament boycotts Coke, Nestle products over the companies’ alleged support for Israel

  The parliament of Turkey has ordered the  removal of Nestle and The Coca-Cola Company products  from restaurant menus over their alleged s...

 The parliament of Turkey has ordered the removal of Nestle and The Coca-Cola Company products from restaurant menus over their alleged support for Israel.

"The products of companies that support Israel will not be sold in restaurants, cafeterias and tea houses in the parliament campus," the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) said in a statement without naming the companies. Assembly Speaker Numan Kurtulmus reportedly decided 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," the statement added.

However, a parliamentary source disclosed that Coca-Cola beverages and Nestle instant coffee were the only products removed from menus. The source added that the decision was meant to respond to a "huge public outcry against these companies" for supporting Israel. The Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and the Switzerland-based Nestle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Neither the TBMM statement nor the internal source specified how the two firms supported Israel's war effort. The decision of the unicameral Turkish parliament is among the first by a government or major organization to target big global brands over the war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. In recent days, Turkish activists have named both Coca-Cola and Nestle in social media posts that call for boycotts of Israeli goods and Western companies they view as endorsing the Jewish-majority nation.

Last month, Nestle announced the temporary closure of one of its production plants in Israel as a "precaution" – becoming the first company to announce a response to the war. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola quietly distanced itself from the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement – which it previously donated to – as the group expressed its support of Hamas.  

Turkish President Erdogan threatens war against Israel

The conflict began on Oct. 7, when Hamas operatives attacked a music festival at the Nir Oz kibbutz (community) in Israel. The militant group killed 1,400 and abducted at least 200 hostages. In response, the Israeli government conducted military offensives in the Gaza Strip that have killed more than 10,000 Palestinians – including some 4,100 children.

Hundreds of thousands of Turks have taken to the streets to protest against Israeli operations into Gaza over the past month. Even Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has weighed in on the issue, sharply rebuking Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip and the West's support of these atrocities. It even came to a point where the Turkish leader threatened war against Israel.

Erdogan issued the threat during a speech delivered at a pro-Palestine rally on the evening of Oct. 28 in the city of Istanbul. He accused Israel of being responsible for war crimes, adding that it has "espoused "a similar mentality" to that of Nazi Germany during World War II." In contrast, Erdogan lauded Hamas as "freedom fighters."

"In the past, [the Nazis] were massacring the Jewish people in the gas chambers and they were indeed wiping out regions with bombs. A similar mentality is being shown in Gaza today," the Turkish leader said.

"From now on, we will continue on our path with the motto that we may suddenly knock on your door one night," Erdogan continued, insinuating that members of the Turkish Armed Forces could come to Israel unannounced. This triggered an ecstatic reception from the crowd, which responded by chanting "Turkish military to Gaza."

Erdogan concluded his speech by telling the crowd that Ankara was preparing to "tell the world that Israel is a war criminal."

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