VIDEO: Angry protesters attack Syrians in Turkey’s southeast
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoA group that had been trying to organize a protest against Syrian refugees in Turkey’s southeastern province of Şanlıurfa violently attacked three Syrians in an alley, before being dispersed by the police.
On May 17, police with armored vehicles closed the roads around Şanlıurfa’s Topçu Square, where protesters had tried to meet for an unauthorized rally, keeping the group away from the square.
Unable to rally at the square, protesters dispersed into side streets to stage mini-protests, during which a group of 30 protesters engaged in a quarrel with three Syrians.
According to reports, the dispute soon turned violent as the group attacked the Syrians with a knife, stabbing one and badly beating the other two.
Police intervened with tear gas after receiving news of the incident.
Fifteen people were taken into custody after the unrest and police further tightened security measures in the city center.
The aggressors had been attempting to organize via social media a protest titled “We don’t want Syrians,” but were blocked earlier in the week by Şanlıurfa Governor İzzettin Küçük, who described the bid as a “criminal act.”
“Those who make such communications should know that they are committing a crime of playing with the feelings of hate and discord within the nation,” Küçük was quoted as saying.