Syrian refugees attacked, urged to leave in Antalya

Syrian refugees attacked, urged to leave in Antalya

ANTALYA – Doğan News Agency
Syrian refugees attacked, urged to leave in Antalya

Around 10,000 Syrians in Antalya have taken shelter in Antalya. DHA Photo

Syrian families who worked as agricultural workers in the southern province of Antalya were attacked by a group of locals on Dec. 23 upon rumors that local workers were beaten by Syrians, following the Antalya governor’s recent statements concerning deporting Syrians from the city.

Four houses and two cars were damaged after being attack with stones by a group of people in the Manavgat district of Antalya on Dec. 23. The incidents started when a scuffle took place between the two minibuses, which were carrying the agricultural workers in the city.

The incident then caused rumors, claiming “Syrians were attacking the local workers,” in the town, followed by a group of residents attacking houses where Syrians were living. The security forces detained four people for setting a vehicle on fire. Five people were wounded in the incidents. Around 70 Syrians were removed from the town by gendarmerie forces after the attacks.

The incident came on the same day when Antalya Governor Muammer Türker told a group of journalists that a notice has been sent to more than 1,500 Syrians to leave the country.

“In principle, it was planned that Syrians would not be staying in Antalya permanently,” said Türker also confirming that the Syrians were delivered the notice to leave the city. Stating that there are around 10,000 Syrians in Antalya, Türker told a group of journalists on Dec. 23 that the notice was only being carried out in Antalya.

“We are sending notices to leave the city. But our food producers are demanding to hire Syrians because of cheap labor and that they are trusty people. We do not want to be involved in a policy that will contradict the country’s macro policies. We want them to work in proper jobs and to not be involved with begging. We are looking for ways to enable living together with them. But in principle, we do not plan for them to stay in Antalya permanently,” Türker said.

He said they are trying to make Antalya an undesirable destination for Syrian refugees.

Another metropolitan city, however, held a contrasting attitude toward the flow of Syrian refugees. A campaign titled “I’m cold, help” aims to provide humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees in Istanbul. The campaign was organized by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) provincial branch and Istanbul greater Municipality and is supported by the 25 district municipalities. Syrians will be distributed blankets, clothes, hygienic materials, electrical heaters, toys and food.