President gives bicycle to Syrian toddler beaten in İzmir
İZMİR – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotosTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has gifted a bicycle to a Syrian toddler who was captured on camera being hurled to the ground by a street vendor at a traditional bazaar in İzmir, while the aggressor was released by a local court after a judicial control decision.
Video footage showing a street vendor picking up a boy and hurling him to the floor, causing his head to hit the ground, had sparked outrage across Turkey. In the footage, the vendor is confronted by angry shoppers and workers who witnessed the incident, before leaving the scene.
An investigation launched by the public prosecutor’s office in İzmir revealed that the toddler was a six-year-old Syrian boy named Hasan Hantumani, whose family moved to Turkey from Syria’s Aleppo four years ago.
İzmir Governor Mustafa Toprak paid a visit to the family’s house in İzmir’s Murat neighborhood, after the boy and his parents were brought to the juvenile police unit to testify.
In his visit, Toprak extended get well soon wishes to the Hantumani family and delivered the gift of a bicycle on behalf of President Erdoğan, while also presenting gifts for the boy’s newborn nephew.
Upon finding out that neither Hasan nor his siblings were currently going to school, the governor gave orders to initiate the necessary proceedings to enroll them.
In response, Hasan said he did not tell his parents about the aggression he faced at the bazaar because he was “very afraid” to do so. “I forgave the man,” he was also quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Hasan’s aggressor has been identified as 36-year-old Musa D., who was brought before a court on March 11 but was released upon a judicial control decision.
In his testimony, Musa said he “regretted” his action.
“He interrupted my work while I was distributing a lunch menu, chicken with rice. Then he picked up and threw away my hat. Then I picked him up and threw him to the ground. The tradespeople in the area reacted against me and I regret what happened,” he said.
The incident is the latest case of violence against Syrian children in Turkey, which currently hosts over 2 million refugees.
A Syrian refugee child was beaten by a Burger King manager in Istanbul after eating a customer’s leftover fries on January 2015, in an incident that hit headlines after being captured on video. Meanwhile, a shopkeeper was sued for beating a young Syrian street seller in İzmir’s Basmane Square after the boy’s mother filed a complaint in July 2015.