Another Syrian kid beaten in Turkey
BELGİN AKALTAN - firstname.lastname@example.org
DHA photoThese are not even newsworthy. They have become routine events. This one happened last week in the Aegean city of İzmir, Turkey’s third largest city, known for its civilized, westernized stance on about every matter. İzmir people are a highly modern, environmentally friendly, art-loving and fun-loving bunch of people. Girls are beautiful there; they are free spirited, they wear shorts everywhere; fathers are tolerant, flirting is commonplace. Women can walk home alone. What else can I say? I envy İzmir people; it is one of the most European places in Turkey, along with some coastal resorts.
Anyway, in this nice city İzmir, which is (no surprise) the stronghold of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), a group of shopkeepers attacked and beat up a Syrian kid, a street vendor trying to sell tissues to people sitting and dining at cafes.
Photos of him crying with a bleeding nose have been posted all over the place. The beating, with the kid trying to take cover under the tables, being trampled on the ground, a shopkeeper with a stool in his hand, has been seen by the entire country. Just google “İzmir Suriyeli çocuk;” you have all the pictures there.
According to papers and witnesses, the kid was saved by other Syrians and passers-by around. He was so traumatized and because he did not speak Turkish, he did not let anybody near him for some time. Only after he recognized people were actually trying to help him, and through other Syrians speaking his language, he was attended to. He disappeared and only pictures of him were left.
After two days of searching, police found the kid and his mother so they could start legal action. The İzmir Police Department opened a case against Adnan Peyi, an employee at a shop, accused of beating the young Syrian in Basmane Square, downtown İzmir. Peyi, however, claimed he did not beat the boy, but other shopkeepers and he actually had been protecting the kid from other Syrians fighting each other. He said they interfered in the incident because the kid was fighting with a Syrian girl, using the stools, disturbing the customers. They interfered to protect the child. He claimed the whole incident was misunderstood.
Yeah, of course… Now, I need to take one of my deep breaths here and count to 10...
I mean, what huge liars we Turks are. I have never come across bigger liars than us. We lie instantly, constantly and big time… We change the situation, the facts, the reality that the entire universe agrees upon, only in seconds, to serve our purposes. It must be a form of psychic abnormality: the Turkish psycho of twisting facts, or rather, the Turkish twist. All of us, without exclusion, we all suffer from this, only in varying degrees.
Nobody is guilty in Turkey. Everybody is a victim. We should be in therapy all together as a nation to be able to see the truth and to distinguish between fact and fiction, and also to realize clearly what and how we make up to cover the truth.
The prime minister has sent word to the İzmir provincial head of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Bülent Delican, to track down the child so that the needs of his family are met.
The child, who has a name now (Ahmed Hamdo Abeyd), said, “’I was only selling tissues. While I was about to sell a pack to a lady there, they pulled me aside and hit me. They stepped on me. Syrians on the other side of the road rushed and poured water on me and I gained consciousness only then.”
Mother Gusun Abeyd, who has five children, said they lived in Aleppo before the war while her husband was a TV repairman. They escaped the war in Syria and came to Turkey; they stayed at refugee tent cities in border towns for a while, she explained. They came to İzmir four months ago.
He husband was jobless; Ahmed was selling tissues. With little money and help from several charities and charitable people, they were surviving. She said she was very sorry for the incident, adding, “We are so happy with Turkey. God bless you. I did not file a complaint because of this incident. I believe God will punish those who beat up my boy.”
The local AKP leader gave toys to children. Their address was given to the prime minister. The mother, who has a heart condition, will receive health care. Other aids will probably follow.
This Syrian refugee crisis, self-created by our big heads while they were trying to make Turkey “the America of the Middle East” has come back to us as 2 million poor people, most of them living on the streets of big cities trying to make a living. Our country is now flooded with uncontrolled, unregistered Syrian refugees, with kids begging or trying to sell goods on the streets, with men offering cheap labor, provoking the rage of other less-cheap available local labor.
Add to this the naturally nurtured violence in ordinary Turkish people, the unstoppable urge to discriminate, to use force against soft targets; then, every day, in every city, on every street corner, similar incidents happen: a child is beaten, a woman is kicked, a young man is stabbed… I guarantee I will have another picture of a crying Syrian child, a young girl, a young man, an older man, a mother, a grandmother, a whole family, abused, beaten, starving, grieving, injured, dead, etc., next week in this column.