Oranges target of Turkish anger in Netherlands row, and YouTubers go #RedOut for Red Nose Day

Youth wing protestors of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) protested against the Netherlands by squeezing oranges and drinking the juice in the north-western province of Koaceli on March 12 Image copyright PA
Image caption Protestors from the youth wing of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) squeeze oranges in Izmit on 12 March amid a Turkish-Dutch row

Turkish protesters target oranges to express displeasure with Holland, some YouTube stars go offline for Red Nose Day, Hezbollah supporters say the group is protecting Syria's Christians, Chinese hail tourists for a South Korea ship stand-off, and a US high school student gets a unique promposal.

A "fruity" spat

Supporters of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan were snapped taking out their anger on some oranges on Sunday.

The oranges weren't rotten or responsible for an infectious outbreak.

But their colour is linked to the Netherlands, and in light of the Turkish-Dutch spat, supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) decided to protest in an innovative way.

During the youth gathering in Izmit, Turkey's northwest, some were seen brandishing kitchen knives and stabbing the oranges.

Others squeezed juice out of the oranges in protest.

One was pictured enjoying a drink of the juice.

Some of the flyers seen during the protest read "Fascist Holland" and "Stay there, Orange" in Turkish.

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Dutch riot police clashed with protesters in Rotterdam on the same day amid a diplomatic row that saw a Turkish minister escorted out of the country. He had been trying to win support among expatriates for a referendum to expand the Turkish president's powers.

Turkey's family minister was also taken back to the German border by Dutch police on arrival.

Some users responded to the images with humour. One said he wasn't sure if it was a protest taking place or breakfast being served.

Image copyright Twitter/@banndit78

An Istanbul-based Facebook user said: "Now I understand the statement about sanctions! The colour orange is finished in Turkey!!! Orange Is the New Black wont be shown on any Turkish channel. Oranges will become the new banned fruit. We will boycott all tangerines, carrots and pumpkins."

On Monday, the Netherlands warned its citizens against travelling to Turkey.

While Mr Erdogan has accused the European country of "Nazism" after officials blocked Turkish pro-government rallies there, saying there would be a price to pay for harming ties between the two countries.

Image copyright


Some of YouTube's biggest stars are offline for 24 hours to raise awareness on injustices faced by the vulnerable young.

Vloggers, including Zoella, Pointlessblog, Jim Chapman, Tanya Burr, Joe Sugg and Caspar Lee, have all put up a six-second video reading RedOut as part of a campaign for charity Comic Relief's Red Nose Day, which will be held on 24 March.

Bloggers and vloggers partaking will go offline on all their social media platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, until 1800 GMT on 13 March.

Image copyright Twitter/@bcalou
Image caption One user's subscription dashboard on YouTube went #RedOut

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According to the RedOut section on the Red Nose Day website, "Right now, millions of young people in the UK and across Africa are being denied access to healthcare, education, employment or a safe place to sleep. Some will be trafficked, abused, exploited and forgotten.

"That's why some of YouTube's biggest names are going offline for a 24hr #RedOut - to raise awareness of the injustices that vulnerable young people face. If you believe young people deserve more, please help us raise the alarm by sharing this video."

But not everyone was on board with the idea of going offline to support Comic Relief.

One Twitter user said that there are more effective ways to raise funds and awareness.

Image copyright Twitter/@foolscon

Another called on YouTubers to "take advantage" of their platforms by talking about the issues at hand instead of going offline.

"#redout, why don't yt's make a video about the problem to raise awareness, instead of going offline and not even explaining what it's about?" one user continued.

This year's Red Nose Day will be broadcast live by the BBC on Friday, 24 March.

Image copyright Associated Press
Image caption Hezbollah militants have been fighting alongside government forces in Syria

Hezbollah, "defender of Syria's Christians"

Supporters of the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah have mobilised online in defence of its intervention in Syria, saying the group is protecting Christian there.

This comes after Lebanon's top Maronite Christian authority, Patriarch Bechara Boutrous al-Rai, said Hezbollah's military involvement in Syria had divided the country.

Hezbollah has been openly fighting in the Syrian conflict alongside government forces for years and is seen as instrumental to many of Damascus's successes on the ground.

Fans of the group used the the Arabic-language hashtag #If_not_for_the_intervention_of_Hezbollah to say that it protected Christians and churches in Syria from the so-called Islamic State group (IS).

Image copyright Lamia Estatie

One tweet shared a video showing a bearded man smashing a ceramic statue of the Virgin Mary on the ground.

The tweet read: "#If_not_for_the_intervention_of_Hezbollah, the fate of every statue of Mary would be the same as this sacred statue in Syria!"

But not everyone using the hashtag felt the same way.

A Twitter account known to be critical of the group and belonging to an alleged ex-member said: ""If_not_for_the_intervention_of_Hezbollah, the sectarian group in Syria, children would not have been orphaned, women widowed, towns demolished and over half a million Syrians killed."

Image copyright Sina Weibo/Toutiao Xinwen
Image caption Over 77,000 Weibo users have commented on the cruise ship stand-off since yesterday

Chinese hail "patriotic" tourists for South Korea cruise ship stand-off

Tens of thousands of users of Sina Weibo - China's most popular microblogging platform - have hailed a massive international cruise ship stand-off over the weekend.

On Saturday, 3,400 Chinese tourists refused to disembark from a South Korean cruise ship off the island of Jeju, following anger over the deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) missile defence system in South Korea.

Weibo users used the hashtags #ChineseTouristsRefuseToDisembark and #MassOfTouristsRefuseToExitCruiseboat.

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According to Chinese newspaper Global Times, the mass protest on the ship came in response to increased restrictions on Chinese tourists visiting South Korea - largely as a result of Thaad.

In recent days, cruise ships have also removed visits to South Korean ports from Chinese cruises. South Korea has said that it is considering submitting a complaint against China's "trade retaliation" to the World Trade Organisation.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption China has said that the US missile defence system in South Korea will allow the US to spy on it

The chatter on Chinese social media in response to the incident over the weekend focused on the "patriotism" shown by the tourists.

Users praised the mass boycott, saying they felt proud of the Chinese nation.

"We must praise this! Boycotting South Korean goods and giving us Chinese so much face [respect]," one user said.

One continued: "I strongly support these Chinese tourists. Why should we disembark and buy anything on your island [South Korea]?"

"Before this act of boycott I was neutral on the issue, but seeing the news this time, it made me happy," another added.

Image copyright Twitter/@claire_short_13

A unique prom-posal

And finally, do you have a date to prom yet?

US high school student Claire Short, 16, got a very special promposal from Joran Fuller, 17, on Friday.

Joran ran 5.5 miles in Findlay, Ohio to ask Claire out to be his date to the dance in late April.

Both she and Joran are runners.

The route Joran took last week spelled out "Prom?" on the running and cycling app Strava.

Image copyright Twitter/@claire_short_13

Claire told us that he came over with flowers, and asked her to look at the Strava app.

And naturally, she said yes.

How sweet!

By the UGC and Social News team; Additional reporting by BBC Monitoring's Middle East team and BBC Monitoring's China team