Skip to main content

Official boycott, sit-ins target Starbucks in Turkey amid protests against Israel

The decision by Turkey’s state-run rail company to stop selling Starbucks products in its dining cars marked the first official boycott targeting an international brand over the Israel-Hamas war.
Eyup Kadir Inan

ANKARA — As Turkey’s state-run rail company announced a boycott on Starbucks products, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) followed suit and organized sit-in protests at the coffee chain's stores around the country. 

The Turkish state railway company, TCDD, ordered a contractor to stop selling Starbucks products in its high-speed railway network's dining cars, company chairman Ufuk Yalcin announced on social media on Thursday. The move marked the first official boycott decision against a brand over the Israel-Hamas war.

Lambasting the world’s largest coffee chain without naming it, Yalcin cited what he described as Starbucks’ “mobbing” of its pro-Palestinian workers in the United States for the move. 

“Our company doesn’t have a contract with the coffee producer, which has resorted to mobbing its workers for criticizing occupier Israel and the genocide committed against our tormented Palestinian siblings,” Yalcin wrote. “An official notice was sent to the contractor operating the cafeterias on our high speed train lines instructing them to offer our passengers alternative products instead of the products of the coffee producer company in question.” 

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 per year.