On Sunday, Turkish authorities arrested Syrian journalist Majed Shamaa for filming a “vox pop” episode on the issue of the banana case, which sparked controversy in Turkey last week.
Activists and journalists confirmed on social media that Shamaa had been arrested. These sources indicated that he was arrested due to an episode of “Street Poll,” which is broadcast on the Orient channel. Several days ago, one episode included a satirical sketch about the issue of bananas, followed by conducting a poll on the streets of Istanbul about the same topic.
Syrian journalists in Turkey expressed concern that Turkish authorities would deport Shamaa to Syria, just as they did with the seven Syrians whom they arrested a few days ago — also over the banana controversy.
The sources expressed solidarity with their fellow journalist, demanding that he be released immediately and the real reasons for his arrest are made public.
A few days ago, Turkish authorities announced that they were deporting seven Syrian refugees to Syria after they posted “satirical” videos during the spread of the banana controversy. The videos responded to “racist” statements made by Turks during street interviews broadcast on television.
In a statement, the Turkish Interior Ministry said that the videos were “inflammatory and provocative, made by people who are considered foreign nationals in Turkey.”
The banana controversy began last Friday when Syrian media circulated a video from Turkey’s Dunya channel. The video featured interviews with Turkish citizens to gauge their opinions on Syrian refugees.
What made the video remarkable was the shocking answers that directly carried racism against Syrians in Turkey.
The video, which Syrians considered racist, invited the interviewees to talk about Syrian refugees and the problems that they had caused for the Turkish people.
The most unnerving aspect of the interviews was the sentences repeated by Turkish people, including: “I can’t eat bananas and you Syrians buy it by the kilogram in bazaars,” trying to hold Syrians responsible for this situation.
Another person said: “Stay inside the hairdressing shops.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.