Video doesn’t show pro-Palestine protesters in Turkey injured by fireworks

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
November 2 2023

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Video doesn’t show pro-Palestine protesters in Turkey injured by fireworks

Screenshots of the viral claim that a video shows fireworks exploding among pro-Palestinian protesters during a recent demonstration in Türkiye. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The video depicts an old fireworks accident in Turkey after Erdogan's reelection. It is unrelated to recent pro-Palestine protests in Turkey.

Claim ID 105ebf20

After a devastating explosion at a Gaza hospital on October 17, 2023, resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives, the Istanbul police reportedly foiled an attempt by pro-Palestine demonstrators to breach the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul. On October 18, a group of individuals reportedly targeted the consulate with stones, sticks, and fireworks, resulting in injuries to more than 60 people, the majority of whom were police officers, as confirmed by the Istanbul Governor's Office.

What's the claim?

A widely-shared 26-second video on X (formerly Twitter) shows fireworks exploding amid a crowd. The claim with the video suggests it shows pro-Palestine protesters in Turkey being injured due to fireworks.

The video shows two individuals lighting what appears to be a firecracker amid a crowd. One is seen holding a Turkish flag. After igniting the firecracker, one of the people raises it above his head with both hands. As a small group of onlookers watch, the firecracker bursts and slips out of the person's hand, causing it to disintegrate in various directions, striking those nearby and making the crowd scatter. 

An X user (archived link) shared the video on October 29, 2023, and wrote, "Pro-Palestinian protesters in Turkey injured after fireworks misfire." Another X user (archived link) captioned, "Is it allah's will or karma? The Turks decided to support #HamasTerrorists, and they got punished." This post has garnered around 92,000 views so far.

Screenshots of the viral posts on X.(Source: X/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this video was captured four months before the Israel-Hamas conflict, at a celebration on May 28, 2023, in honor of President Tayyip Erdogan's reelection following the Turkish elections.

What we found

Using a reverse image search, we found several Turkish news reports by NTV and Ensonhaber dating back to May 2023. These reports referred to the incident as a "fireworks accident during election celebrations" in Istanbul.

Screenshot of May 2023 news reports covering fireworks mishap at election celebrations in Istanbul (NTV/SON BASIN/ Screenshots)

NTV's coverage included screenshots from the viral video, stating that during the election celebration in Fatih (Istanbul), an accident took place when a group of young people set off fireworks. The report added that when one person in the group accidentally dropped the firework, it exploded amid the crowd, and a phone camera captured the moments of panic, but no injuries were reported.

Moreover, Reuters also shared the same video, confirming that it was recorded during the Turkish election celebrations. The Reuters report said, "Fireworks exploded in the hands of a Turkish civilian who - along with thousands of others - was attending a celebration for President Tayyip Erdogan's reelection on Sunday (May 28) night."

Sky News also covered the incident, reporting that the gathering was part of a victory celebration organized by Turkey's AK Party.

Erdogan's triumph in the Turkish election

In May 2023, President Erdogan emerged victorious in Turkey's presidential election, defeating opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu in the runoff vote, marking his continued rule into a third decade. BBC News reported that Erdogan's supporters celebrated his victory as large crowds gathered in Istanbul's Taksim Square, with most attendees hailing from the Middle East and the Gulf region.

The verdict

A video from May 28, 2023, reportedly capturing a fireworks accident during celebrations in Turkey after Erdogan's presidential reelection, is being shared with the claim that it shows a recent incident involving pro-Palestinian protesters in Turkey amid the Israel-Hamas war. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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