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Yes, We Have No Banana Videos

Eight Syrians were arrested in the western city of Izmir, Turkish news agency Demiroren said on Saturday, and face deportation for creating a “provocation,” “insulting the Turkish people,” and “inciting hatred” after posting videos of themselves eating bananas on social media. Turkish migration authorities say that another seven foreign nationals face similar charges. The videos follow a news report on October 17 that showed an argument between a Syrian woman and a group of Turks on an Istanbul street in which a man complains, “You’re living comfortably. I can’t eat a banana, you’re buying kilos of bananas.” In a statement released on Wednesday, the Directorate General of Migration Management said, “Efforts are underway to uncover all the provocative posts … and to carry out the necessary judicial and administrative procedures against all individuals who make these posts.” Turkey is host to the world’s largest refugee population. In light of the difficult and worsening economic conditions in Turkey, including high unemployment and inflation, tensions are high between native Turks and the refugees, in particular around 3.6 million people who have fled war-torn Syria since 2011.