The ride-sharing firm Uber is a terrorist group born in the U.S. “where the traitors who shoot and kill my soldiers in Afrin bleed”.
These claims were contained in an outburst by Irfan Ozturk, head of the Istanbul Taxi Drivers’ Union earlier this week.
In a report by Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, Ozturk also claimed those who drove Uber vehicles or used their services were traitors to Turkey.
“Uber equals the PKK, Uber equals DAESH [another name for ISIS]. It is officially a terrorist group … It is a global thief,” he declared.
Recent months have seen attacks on Uber drivers in the Turkish metropolis, amid strong language from the taxi drivers’ union, with shots being fired in at least one incident.
Uber is now facing a lawsuit from the Turkish taxi drivers, who have seen their business fall since Istanbulites have begun choosing the ridesharing app, with many claiming the service is superior.
The company has faced a difficult history in Greece too. In March this year, Athens taxi drivers walked off the job in protest at what they call unfair competition from the Uber ride-hailing service.
It has since suspended some of its services in the Greek capital in response to new legislation pushed through parliament.
In 2014, when Uber first started in Greece, Taxi Union Association of Athens (SATA) President Thymios Lymberopoulos lashed out at drivers who worked for the U.S. based company.
With two posts on SATA’s official Facebook page, Lymberopoulos wrote that any taxi driver who works with Uber is a traitor and should be hanged, “not from a fig tree but in Syntagma square.”
“Taxi drivers who work with Uber are an enemy to this industry,” he wrote, adding that “we need to protect the thousands of families that make their living from our profession. Any taxi drivers who become traitors to the profession, like modern Judas, need to be hanged.”