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News channel sacks anchor for on-air Starbucks cup as it goes against pro-Gaza stance

The Istanbul-based media company put out a statement on Sunday (24 December) condemning the actions taken by the award-winning news anchor

Faiza Saqib
Wednesday 27 December 2023 18:09 GMT
Journalists in Gaza sing: 'We will remain here until the pain goes away'

A television news anchor in Turkey has been fired after appearing on camera with a Starbucks cup on her desk.

Award-winning anchor Meltem Günay,45, from TGRT Haber and the director of the programme were sacked immediately after a broadcast on Sunday (24 December).

The Istanbul-based media company put out a statement over the weekend on X, formerly known as Twitter, condemning the actions taken by the anchor.

The statement said: “In the news broadcast of TGRT Haber TV dated 24.12.2023, Meltem Günay, who was an announcer, was seen presenting the news with a Starbucks cup in front of her.

“In accordance with the principles of our institution, it is strictly forbidden for the announcer to present on TGRT News TV in a way that will covertly advertise any company.

“The news anchor and director who acted contrary to this principle were terminated for just cause. Our institution has an understanding that knows the sensitivities of the Turkish people regarding Gaza and defends them to the end.”

News anchor sacked for Starbucks coffee cup (TGRT Haber)

The outlet continued: “It is absolutely impossible to approve any action or publication contrary to this. We do not approve of this action of the presenter and director, whose employment contracts were terminated, and we strongly condemn it. For this reason, their employment contracts were terminated.”

TGRT Haber also said the institution will continue to “stand by the Gaza and Turkish people” as well as “protect their sensitivities until the end”.

In recent weeks there has been a nationwide boycott of Starbucks in Turkey as people claim the company holds a bias toward Israel.

In November a group of pro-boycott activists installed a Bluetooth speaker at a Starbucks branch in Istanbul.

The speaker broadcasted a message in both Turkish and English languages, telling customers the money they spend at Starbucks goes to “Gaza’s babies as bombs, blood, and death”.

“Hello dear guest,” the message started off, “we have a small reminder message for you. The money you are currently paying for this organisation, is going to Gaza’s babies as bombs, blood and death.”

“Thank you for your sensitivity,” the broadcast ended.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also a long-standing supporter of Gaza and its people.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Last month, Erdogan labelled Israel a “terror state” and called for Israeli leaders to be tried for war crimes at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

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