We’re not anti-Israeli

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Unlike his Invercargill cousin, this Turkish delight sells kebabs to anyone.

You say goodbye – to Jews – and I say hello.

That’s the stark, unspoken message this week from Queenstown’s Turkish kebab king Adam Tekinkaya to Invercargill cousin Mustafa Tekinkaya.

Mustafa Tekinkaya made international headlines last Wednesday by telling two Jewish women to leave his cafe.

He said he wouldn’t serve anyone from Israel while its Gaza Strip action continued.

One of the women ejected, a New Zealand resident, lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Com­mission.

Queenstown’s Tekinkaya wants to put more than 187km of distance between himself and his Invercargill cuzzy.

“I want to make clear – we are not racist [here],” he says, between serving kebabs at one of his two Queenstown outlets.

“We are not racist people.”

This Tekinkaya welcomes any race, any religion.

“We don’t have anything against any race at all – we’re in business, we haven’t been racist with anybody.”

Jews are welcome, too: “Yes, they are welcome – just as welcome as any other race.”

Adam Tekinkaya confirms cousin Mustafa worked for him in Queenstown for two or three years after he first opened in the resort in 2000.

He applauded his cousin for subsequently setting up in Invercargill but he doesn’t have any money in Mustafa’s cafe and kebab takeaway, he says.

Adam Tekinkaya has an equal-opportunity employment policy, hiring not just Turks but Kiwis and other races, too.

And not just Muslims, either: “We employ anybody.”

Including Israelis – he employed two last year in Queenstown.

Would he do so again? “Of course I would.”

Adam Tekinkaya wouldn’t comment specifically on his southern cousin’s controversial stance.