Crowd sets fire to Ankara building for Syrian refugees over rumors of beaten local
The fire could only be extinguished after police intervened to disperse the crowd. DHA PhotoA building sheltering Syrian refugees in Ankara’s central district of Altındağ was set ablaze late May 7 over claims that a local passing in front of the building was beaten by a Syrian national.
Many people were injured due to the fire, which also caused significant material damage, while some locals among the group attacking the building were detained. The incident reveals the growing tension between refugees in Turkey’s main cities and locals living in central neighborhoods.
A large fight broke out between a group of residents and the Syrian refugees after rumors of the beating began to circulate. The angered crowd first threw stones at the three-floored building sheltering the Syrians, prompting the deployment of riot police.
However, the crowd reassembled after the police’s intervention, throwing flammable materials that ignited a fire on the second floor of the building. Part of the group also tried to block the fire brigades.
The fire could only be extinguished after police intervened to disperse the crowd. Some police officers were also among the injured, Doğan News Agency reported.
An investigation has been launched into the incident.
Numerous Syrian families can be now seen in the center of Turkey’s main cities, where evacuated old houses and cheap housing in central neighborhoods have become makeshift refugee camps.