Locals and refugees leave bomb-hit town

Locals and refugees leave bomb-hit town

HATAY - Hürriyet Daily News
Locals and refugees leave bomb-hit town

Many people have left Reyhanlı after the deadly blasts that destroyed buildings. DAILY NEWS photo

Both locals and Syrian refugees living in Reyhanlı have started to flee from the border town, feeling insecure after a deadly bomb attack.

Local people’s rage at the bloody attack in Turkey’s town of Reyhanlı on the Syrian border has turned into an angry reaction against the Syrian refugees who were “locked in” their houses or had left a day after the attack.

Two groups of locals took to the streets of ruined Reyhanlı and the center of Hatay yesterday to protest the attacks, while some Syrian refugees left Reyhanlı and the others were protected by Turkish riot police, dispatched to the town from neighboring provinces, who stood guard in front of the buildings where mostly refugees live.

“The advantages they were provided disturb us,” said Gül A., who asked to keep her last name anonymous.

“The money being put in their pocket [by the Turkish state,] the priorities they are being given at the hospitals… In the last two years they opened so many new stores here, they are not being checked while crossing Turkish Syria Border, we do not know what they bring,” she explained.

“My children saw weapons in my Syrian refugee neighbor’s car’s trunk and we informed the police. The answer from the police officer was shocking: We cannot do anything, he told me,” she added.
“Nobody likes them,” said a local who survived the attacks about the Syrian refugee population there.

Fatih Gül, whose 35-year-old cousin remains missing, said the Syrian refugees were responsible for the attacks.
“After the explosions a Syrian’s car was turned upside down here, people beat them,” he told the Hürriyet Daily News. Only three days before the incident a fight had occurred between locals and Syrians at the same place as the cars exploded, he said.

Mahmud Abdul, a Syrian refugee, and his family, who came Turkey three months ago, left the town this morning, saying they would return to Syria through the Kilis border gate.

“The war inside Syria continues, but we are not safe here either, also the locals do not want us, we are being threatened,” Abdul told the Daily News. Hours later, he was seen emptying his house.

The funerals of the victims were held also amid high tensions. Many residents have already left Reyhanlı after May 11, with most of them temporarily staying at the houses of relatives in other cities, locals have said. Only funeral houses were full of victims’ relatives and neighbors.