African woman assaulted in Istanbul denounces racist attack

African woman assaulted in Istanbul denounces racist attack

African woman assaulted in Istanbul denounces racist attack

The four Liberian women were injured by gunshots following the last week's assault in the center of Istanbul.

An African woman injured last week in Istanbul by gunshot has denounced the armed assault on herself and three other Liberian migrants as a racist attack.

The incident took place in Mecidiyeköy, one of Istanbul’s busiest areas in the vibrant European district of Şişli, and raised concerns over discrimination faced by thousands of African migrants trying to make a living in Turkey.

The assailant fired 10 bullets at the four migrants, all women, injuring their legs.

“We went to a tea house, we were cold and we wanted to drink some tea. Someone came while we were sitting and told us ‘Black American, no.’ We did not pay too much attention to him,” the woman, identified as Deddeh, told the BBC.

“As we were preparing to leave, my niece wanted us to take his picture. As soon as I took the phone, he said ‘American, no photo’ and opened fire with his gun,” she said.

Once in the hospital, the woman underwent surgery due to the bullet damaging her bones. She is recovering in a basement apartment that does not receive any sunlight in the Fulya neighborhood of Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district.  

Deddeh explained that she came to Turkey only two months ago, but is now afraid to stay any longer.

The numbers of African migrants seeking refuge in Turkey has increased in recent years, in the hope of crossing the border into Europe. Most work as peddlers on the streets of commercial neighborhoods, as well as in factories.