Turks supporting Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have uploaded videos on social media this week destroying their iPhones and other American products with sledgehammers, handguns, and fire.
In one video circulated online, an unidentified man threatens Trump in front of the camera as four boys kneel behind him in front of a Turkish flag. He then takes the boys’ iPhones and smashes them with a sledgehammer.
“If you threaten us with hunger you will only make us laugh. Do whatever in your power,” he declares. “Look now what will happen to your iPhones on the orders of Erdogan.”
Sosyal medyada ABD'yi protesto için tekbir eşliğinde balyozla iPhone parçalanan bir video paylaşıldı. "Bu reis için, bu Abdülhamit Gül için, bu Süleyman Soylu için" diyerek iPhone'ların parçalandığı videonun sonunda çalan başka bir iPhone zil sesi dikkat çekti. pic.twitter.com/CTcLaYsZfx
— dokuz8HABER (@dokuz8haber) August 15, 2018
In other videos, Erdogan supporters can be seen smashing, shooting, and burning their iPhones. In one video, a boy films himself pouring a bottle of Coca-Cola down the toilet in solidarity with his president.
“I join my countrymen in protesting American-made products,” the boy says. “Watch me clean my toilet with this bottle of coke.”
אוקיי, לא רק אייפון: הנה אזרח טורקי שמביע מחאה נגד מוצר הדגל מארצות הברית: Coca Colapic.twitter.com/32ByVw8Ntf
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) August 16, 2018
The protests come after Erdogan urged Turks to boycott American products in favor of goods made elsewhere.
“If the US has the iPhone, there’s Samsung on the other side,” Erdogan said in a speech on Wednesday. “And we have our own telephone brands. We are going to produce enough for ourselves. We have to serve better quality goods than we are importing from them.”
Such anger is a result of the ongoing diplomatic dispute between the U.S. and Turkey surrounding American pastor Andrew Brunson, arrested in Turkey in late 2016 for alleged ties to Islamist and Marxist terrorist groups. As a Christian with over two decades of service in Turkey, Brunson noted that it did not make sense for someone of his faith to aid the groups he stood accused of helping and denied the charges. The U.S. government has repeatedly stated there is no evidence supporting the Turkish government’s claims and demanded his release. This month, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on two Turkish government ministers and doubled tariffs on steel and aluminum as part of efforts to secure Brunson’s release.
“We’ve seen no evidence that Pastor Brunson has done anything wrong and we believe he is a victim of unfair and unjust detention by the government of Turkey,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said at a press briefing last week. Trump, meanwhile, has described Brunson as a “great Christian, family man, and wonderful human being.”
The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being. He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2018
Turkey has reacted angrily to U.S. pressure. Ankara’s foreign ministry has decried it as “disrespectfully intervening in our judicial system,” while arguing it will “seriously damage the constructive efforts made in order to resolve problems between the two countries.”
On Thursday, Turkish Presidency Communications Director Fahrettin Altun also described sanctions as an attempted “economic coup” against Erdogan’s government, with the Turkish Lira falling sharply against the dollar.