Uber is terrorist and its users are traitors: Istanbul Taxi Drivers Union
Uber is a terrorist organization and users of the ridesharing app are traitors to the nation, Istanbul Taxi Drivers Union head İrfan Öztürk said on April 12, amid continued tension between Uber drivers and regular taxi drivers in Turkey’s largest city.
“Uber was founded in San Francisco. That is the place where the traitors who shoot and kill my soldiers in Afrin breed. Both those who use Uber and those who drive Uber vehicles are traitors,” Öztürk added.
“Uber equals the [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] PKK, Uber equals DAESH. It is officially a terrorist group … It is a global thief,” he said.
Tension between regular taxi drivers and Uber drivers recently spiked in Istanbul, with a series of violent attacks and demonstrations.
On March 10, shots were fired at an Uber vehicle in the city’s Küçükçekmece district, after which Uber released a statement about the rising number of violent incidents targeting Uber vehicles in Turkey.
Unlike in most other countries, Uber offers a more expensive service to customers. As a result, competition between traditional taxis and Uber in Turkey is largely based on quality rather than price, with many locals complaining of poor service provided by taxi drivers.
A group of taxi drivers gathered early on March 12 outside Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse to protest against Uber ahead of the second hearing of a lawsuit opened against the transport company by the United Taxi Drivers Association (İTEO).
Carrying banners reading “Uber = Global Thief” and “We do not want global thief Uber,” protesters claimed that Uber has already been driven out of many European countries.
“Our case has entered the 10th Commercial Court of First Instance. We demand that Uber vehicles be taken out of service. These are labor thieves. Today is the second hearing. We are waiting for positive results,” said İTEO president Eyüp Aksu.