Turkish media outlets have reported violence directed towards Syrian refugees in the southeastern province of Gaziantep after a possibly one or several Syrians allegedly stabbed his landlord to death.
Hıdır Çalan and the accused murder had an altercation on Monday night that apparently led to 65-year-old landlord asking the family to evacuate the apartment largely inhabited by Syrian refugees.
Although the assailant fled the scene, a crowd immediately formed outside of the apartment building wanting to break in. They were stopped by Turkish police officers, holding back the angry mob with tear gas and water cannons. Immediately after quelling the would-be lynch mob, residents regrouped in a flash-mob anti-Syrian protest, “waving Turkish flags and chanting anti-Syrian slogans,” as reported by Turkish news outlet, Today’s Zaman.
Anti-Syrian protests are becoming more commonplace as southern Turkish cities reach breaking points (photo: Hurriyet Daily News)
The eruption of violence has been long in waiting, as Turkish citizens feel that the government is simply not addressing the Syrian refugee issue. Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Ali Serindağ expressed this sentiment: “The government keeps insisting on not solving the refugee issue, so locals have been paying the price. Those problems might turn into bigger crises in the near future if the authorities do not resolve them.”
Investigations into the incident are pending, and Gaziantep police are focusing on capturing the suspect(s).
Reports have also said that cars with Syrian licence plates are being targets of multiple acts of vandalism, and that armed mobs have been defacing and destroying Syrian-owned businesses and residences in various cities and towns along the Syrian-Turkish border.