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Syrian teen kicked off Berlin tram for food, not headscarf

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Syrian teen kicked off Berlin tram for food, not headscarf
A Berlin tram. Photo: DPA
17:35 CET+01:00
On Wednesday a Syrian teenager reported she had been kicked off Berlin public transport for wearing a headscarf. It now appears that was a misunderstanding.

The 14-year-old had told authorities that the bus driver had refused to leave the tram stop, instead announcing over the loudspeaker that he would not drive anyone wearing a headscarf.

She added that she left the tram confused after receiving no support from other passengers.

The incident was reported on by The Local as well as other German news sites after a police report was filed.

But the Berlin Transport Company (BVG) say that after reviewing video footage, they believe that the driver asked her to leave the tram because she was eating a Döner kebab, something which is against their regulations, the Berliner Morgenpost reports.

“On the video you can see that two girls get onto the tram and then open a Döner kebab, each while the driver apparently announces that they can't do that,” a BVG spokesperson said.

The video does not however have sound which would prove what the driver said.

But a woman who was travelling on the vehicle also posted on Facebook that the driver had asked the girl to leave after seeing her meal.

According to her account, the girl ignored the warning, “leading the driver to ask the girl in the white headscarf to leave the tram and eat outside. That's all there was to it.”

The driver is also reported to have told the BVG his version of the incident after hearing the girl's account on the radio. He was said to be “aghast” at what had been made out of the story.

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