Syrian activists try to minimize Turkish popular outrage against refugees


Angry Turkish protesters demanded their government to expel Syrians from their cities. File photo

ARA News

Urfa,Turkey – Following Turkey’s recent protests against Syrians, a consultative meeting was convened between the Turkish Youth Association and the Syrian al-Khabour Civic Forum earlier this week in Urfa city, south of Turkey.

Speaking to ARA News, Mostafa Baqir, the association’s secretary, said: “The upcoming Turkish presidential elections caused this indignation in the Turkish street against Syrians.”

Baqir accused the Turkish opposition parties as well as the Syrian intelligence of “antagonizing” between Syrians and Turks.

“Syrian regime’s intelligence was able to send its agents to some Turkish cities to create problems and evoke Turks against Syrian refugees,” he said.

Baqir pointed out that a number of decisions were made to help Syrians in collaboration with al-Khabour board of directors.

“We tackled the humanitarian issue of Syrians. We aim to spread the Syrian culture among Turks and allow for cultural exchange to mitigate indignation,” Baqir said.

Baqir mentioned their intention to talk to Turkish official circles to express the Syrian refugees’ demands and respond to them.

Repeating Erdogan’s words “we are supporters, they are migrants”, Baqir asserted: “We are committed to helping our Syrian siblings.”

“We work with al-Khabour to understand the refugees’ needs,” he added.

Baqir mentioned the economical benefit Turkey gained of Syrians as “Syrian money was invested in Turkey, not to mention the cheap and available labour force”.

Daham al-Satam, director of al-Khabour Civic Forum, told ARA News: “We agreed on arranging an extended meeting between the Syrian and Turkish organizations, each represented with one person or two.”

“A joint Syrian-Turkish committee will be formed then in al-Khabour office in Urfa to take care of Syrians and convey their voices to the official and unofficial Turkish parties,” Satam said.

According to Satam, the forum will soon launch awareness campaigns of the Turkish people’s traditions among Syrians in several Turkish cities.

“Holding meetings to discuss the Turkish laws for better understanding will be also arranged by al-Khabour,” he said.

Satam mentioned the role of the joint committee in holding social, literary and artistic activities to introduce the Syrian culture to the Turks.

“Also, on official occasions there should be mutual visits between the two sides. We also intend to form a joint football team,” Satam said.

Satam expressed his intention to start awareness campaigns immediately by visiting the Syrian communities and by holding meetings in al-Khabour office.

“We will immediately meet the Turkish social and political official circles and organizations,” he added

Some tensions between Syrians and Turks took place recently in some Turkish cities, where protests and riots occurred.

Angry Turkish protesters in the city of Kahramanmaras also called on the Turkish Government mid-July to expel Syrians out of Turkish cities.


Reporting by: Redwan Bizar

Source: ARA News

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