The hashtag #ÜlkemdeSuriyeliİstemiyorum (I don’t want Syrians in my country) hit the worldwide Twitter trending topic list on July 3, as Turkish social media users slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s suggestion that millions of Syrians living in the country would have a chance to become Turkish citizens.
The hashtag, which drew criticism from other social media users for attracting racist and hate speech-filled tweets, quickly became a trending topic on Twiter.
“#ÜlkemdeSuriyeliİstemiyorum. No to naturalization. It will ruin the country’s cultural and economic structure,” one tweet read.
“#ÜlkemdeSuriyeliİstemiyorum. We are hosting them but we cannot give our homes. Yes to helping but no to naturalization,” read another.
However, the hashtag also drew angry reaction from some users as well as popular figures commenting after it became trending topic.
“Directly naturalizing 3 million Syrians is a result of frustration. [Giving citizenship] before even granting refugee status amounts to harming Turkey,” said journalist
“The term #ÜlkemdeSuriyeliİstemiyorum is sickening racism,” columnist Hayko Bağdat tweeted.
"Saying #ÜlkemdeSuriyeliİstemiyorum is racism. The real bad people are the politicians who use Syria issue for their own interests,” novelist Ahmet Ümit tweeted.