Crowd attacks homes of Syrian refugees in Şanlıurfa over alleged beating of children
Locals from the neighborhood told the police that they didn't want Syrians to settle in the area after the incident in Şanlıurfa, late July 31. DHA PhotoAn angry crowd attacked a building inhabited by Syrians late July 31 in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa after rumors spread that two children had been allegedly beaten by the refugees as they were going to buy bread.
The incident took place at the Bağlarbaşı neighborhood, where a high number of refugees fleeing the war in their country have taken shelter in the last months.
According to Doğan News Agency, two children between the ages of 12 and 14 were beaten by young Syrians as they were coming out from a bakery. A fight erupted over the incident between the Syrians and locals who witnessed the beating, prompting a group of 20 refugees to gather and loot the bakery and another shop in the neighborhood.
Tension further escalated when locals gathered in the evening hours, throwing stones at a building where the Syrians were residing.
Police dispatched at the scene prevented the locals from setting the building on fire. Locals from the neighborhood told the police that they didn't want Syrians to settle in the area, the report said.
The incident is the first of this scale in Şanlıurfa, but similar tension has already broken out in the provinces of Gaziantep and Kahramanmaraş.
The number of Syrians who have taken shelter in Turkey has exceeded 1 million, as hundreds of thousands of refugees have settled in the outskirts of cities to find jobs and make a living.
A recent demonstration against Syrians in Kahramanmaraş had gathered over 1,000 people, showing the degree of the tension between the communities.