Skip to main content

Syrians to be deported for eating bananas 'provocatively' in Turkey

As tensions soar between Turks and their country's 4 million refugees, a viral trend of young Syrians posting videos of themselves eating bananas has ended in some set to be deported.
Bunches of bananas, which were to be disposed of by a supermarket, sit in a crate at food-waste charity The Felix Project's warehouse in Park Royal on Feb. 27, 2019 in London, England.

Turkey said that it was deporting at least seven Syrians for participating in a “provocative banana-eating campaign” after a wave of TikTok videos showing young Syrians munching the fruit as a way of mocking anti-refugee sentiment in Turkey and the battered Turkish economy.

The images and videos — posted by Syrians not only in Turkey but also in other countries — came after a Turkish man complained before cameras that he could no longer afford bananas, whereas the Syrians could buy loads. Bananas, which cost $1-2 per kilogram in Turkey, are traditionally seen as a symbol of a lavish lifestyle.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.