Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday opened a new Coca Cola plant in southwestern Isparta province amid comments by pro-government users on social media that he would not attend the inauguration because of the alleged “pro-Israel” stance of the company.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony in Isparta on Saturday, Erdoğan congratulated officials and businessmen for managing the Coca Cola plant to be built in Isparta as it will provide jobs to 300 people and bring an investment of $110 million to Turkey.
“I congratulate all who worked for the investment of Anadolu Etap [partner company with Coca Cola] which will process over 100 million tons of fruit in the factory and have a value of at least $125 million, the third big company in the province [of Isparta],” Erdoğan said.
Accompanied by Coca-Cola Company CEO Muhtar Kent, Minister for Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba, Foreign Ministeer Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi, Minister of Family and Social Policy Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, Youth and Sports Minister Osman Aşkın Bak and Anadolu Group CEO Tuncay Özilhan, Erdoğan cut the ribbon, saying, “Ya Allah, Bismilllah” (O Allah, In the name of Allah).
Several pro-Erdoğan and pro-government social media accounts in Turkey targeted other accounts on social media after they spread the news that Erdoğan would inaugurate the Cola-Cola factory in Isparta.
Pro-government circles believe that Coca-Cola is a staunchly pro-Israel company and that it supports the Israeli government against Palestine.