Unprecedented Turkish popular outrage against Syrian refugees


Angry Turkish protesters in Kahramanmaras, demanding Syrian refugees to leave their territories. Activists

ARA News

Urfa, Turkey Hundreds of Turkish citizens protested during the last three days in the city of Kahramanmaras in southern Turkey against the residency of Syrian refugees in their city.

This unprecedented movement of protests against Syrians in Turkey started on Sunday when hundreds of angry residents of Kahramanmaras took to the street to express their anger and attacked some Syrian cars.

Based on a video footage published on social media by activists, protesters ran a riot assaulting some Syrians without the interference of the Turkish police in place.

The video also showed some Turkish protesters destroying shops and cars owned by Syrians.

Observes think “such protests are part of a political campaign against the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan”, who is visiting the territory of Sanliurfa -south of Turkey, with the approach of the Turkish presidential elections.

Speaking to ARA News, the Turkish journalist Kamal Ozgan said: “Syrians’ status in Turkey will worsen due to the mistakes committed by few Syrians who did not realize yet that they are in a hosting country.”

“Syrians must respect laws. Some Turkish opposition parties may use these mistakes to mobilize against the government,” said Ozgan.

In this regard, Ismael al-Khatib, member of the Free Syrian Journalists Union, told ARA News that the “inappropriate behaviour” of some Syrians caused these protests.

Al-Khatib also thinks that “Alawites in Kahramanmaras incited for the riot”.

“Not all Turks share the same attitude towards Syrians. Some exploited this to expel Syrians as they want to ruin the electoral campaign,” Al-Khatib said.

In the same context, some Turkish opponents called for a rally in Gaziantep to expel Syrians “following a harassment incident by a Syrian refugee to a Turkish child”, according to the Turkish local media.

However, governor of Gaziantep, Irdal Ata, did not grant a protesting warrant to the protesters.

Ata invited the citizens of Gaziantep to be aware and avoid involvement in “this dirty manipulations by some politicians”.

Based on unofficial statistics, approximately one million Syrian refugees live in Turkey today due to the three-year crisis.

Most of them live on the borders between Syria and Turkey, dwelling camps or the cities of Gaziantep, Urfa and Istanbul.


Reporting by: Redwan Bizar

Source: ARA News

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