An award-winning news anchor in Türkiye was fired from her job, and the reason was quite trivial for some: she showed a Starbucks cup while delivering the news on-air. Here’s the story.
Forty-five-year-old Meltem Günay, an award-winning newscaster for TGRT Haber, a nationwide TV channel in Türkiye, has been sacked after she showed a Starbucks cup in front of the camera.
As per media law, doing such isn’t allowed since you are like “covertly” advertising a brand that did not sign an advertisement contract with the network.
TGRT Haber issued a statement, saying, “In the news broadcast of TGRT Haber TV dated [December 24th, 2023], Meltem Günay, who was an announcer, was seen presenting the news with a Starbucks cup in front of her. In accordance with the principles of our institution, it is strictly forbidden for the announcer to present on TGRT News TV in a way that will covertly advertise any company. The news anchor and director who acted contrary to this principle were terminated for just cause.”
But apparently, this issue is something anchored at a much deeper level, which the TV station explained in its statement, too.
“From now on, our institution will continue to stand by the Gaza and Turkish people and protect their sensitivities until the end,” TGRT Haber added.
To provide you with context, Starbucks in Türkiye is considered pro-Israel there. Israel is also a country in the Middle East, like Türkiye.
The coffee company’s arm in this country even sued its own union, Starbucks Workers United, for posting something pro-Palestine on its social media page. Boycott from Turkish coffee drinkers ensued after this act from Starbucks.