Municipality in Turkish capital Ankara stops issuing licenses to major US food brands
Murat YILMAZ - ANKARA
File photo by duncan phillips / Alamy Stock Photo
In response to a growing diplomatic and economic spat between Turkey and the U.S., the Keçiören Municipality in the capital Ankara has decided not to issue business licenses to American brands including McDonald’s, Starbucks and Burger King.
“I hope the decision we made has set an example,” said Keçiören Mayor Mustafa Ak, from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The Keçiören District Council voted unanimously for the measure.
“Our country will defeat this economic war waged on Turkey, which is the continuation of the failed July 15  coup attempt, by taking a national stance, and it will further strengthen its identity as a sovereign and respectable country with the rule of law,” Ak added.
Meanwhile, Burger King issued a statement saying that it is not an American company, but is based in Brazil. “It was acquired by Rio de Janerio-based 3G Capital back in October 2010 and has been operating under the roof of Restaurant Brands International [RBI],” the company said, adding that the Turkish firm TAB Gıda has been undertaking Burger King’s operations in Turkey over the past 23 years.
The Keçiören Municipality also put up billboards, which read “our national currency, our national cause,” across the district, calling on people to sell foreign currencies to support the Turkish Lira, Ak added.
“Our municipality did not remain indifferent to the economic warfare launched against our country,” the mayor added.
On Aug. 14, Erdoğan vowed Turkey will boycott U.S. electronic goods in retaliation to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to double tariffs on aluminum and steel on Turkey amid a deepening crisis between the two sides over the continued detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson.