Turkish man who stepped on Syrian worker in photo detained in Turkey’s İzmir
İZMİRA man who drew widespread criticism over a photo which showed him stepping on a Syrian worker’s stomach that was captioned “A Turk’s revenge on a Syrian” has been detained and sent to court with a demand for his arrest in İzmir, Doğan News Agency has reported.
The incident occurred on Feb. 16 in the Bornova district of İzmir, when the employee of a shoe producer, Hasan Kartal, shot and shared a photo that showed him stepping on a Syrian worker’s stomach along with the aforementioned caption.
He also responded to a comment under the photograph, saying he was punishing the unidentified Syrian man because he was late for work. The photo sparked fury on social media, with some users filing complaints with the police.
Police detained Kartal during a raid on his workplace after the increasing number of complaints against him.
The suspect, however, declared that the incident was just a “joke” in his testimony before he was referred to court with a demand for his arrest.
He also denied that he was an employer, saying he was working as a quality controller at the workplace.
Kartal said the photo did not include any act of violence and that they were just joking with each other, adding that he had received threats over social media after the photo was published.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the shoe-sellers’ site in İzmir, Yalçın Ata, said he had known the suspect for a long time, adding that he believed it was only a joke.
But the deputy chair of the site, Hasan Hüseyin Kavlak, said such incidents were distressing for the industry in the province.
“We do not want to be associated with incidents like these. All our tradespeople are humane and sensitive. They are struggling to make a living. We do not agree with actions like this. If there are some tradespeople like him, I want to warn them,” he said.