Turkish shopkeepers probed for ‘beating Syrian teens who stole bread’

Turkish shopkeepers probed for ‘beating Syrian teens who stole bread’

Turkish shopkeepers probed for ‘beating Syrian teens who stole bread’ Two shopkeepers accused of savagely beating two teenage Syrian refugees with clubs were detained in Turkey’s southern province of Hatay on April 6.

Security camera footage, which provoked outrage on social media, showed two men racing out of their shops in Hatay after two teens took several loaves of flatbread from a display case. 

The video footage shows the pair brandishing clubs and pummelling both the boys, who sink to their knees as they are forced against a wall by the intensity of the blows.

The boys are then made to put the bread back in the display case under the weight of more blows. One sprawls on the pavement in agony while one of the shopkeepers then kicks the other boy. Onlookers are seen intervening, as police and emergency services arrive.     

The two Syrians, aged 16 and 18, were taken to hospital but released on the same day. Both were sent to court and now face charges of theft. 

Meanwhile the two shopkeepers, identified only by their initials M.T. and V.Z., were detained on suspicion of “intentionally causing injury,” according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.

The incident is the latest in a series of cases involving violence against young Syrians in Turkey.  

A Syrian toddler was recently seen in a video being hurled to the floor by a street vendor at a traditional bazaar in the Aegean province of İzmir, causing the boy’s head to hit the ground. 

In a separate incident, outrage was provoked after footage emerged of a Syrian refugee child being beaten by a Burger King manager in Istanbul after eating a customer’s leftover fries in January 2015. 

A shopkeeper was also sued in July 2015 for beating a young Syrian street seller in İzmir’s Basmane Square after the boy’s mother filed a complaints. 

Turkey is hosting over 2.7 million refugees from the conflict in neighboring Syria. Only a quarter of a million live in refugee camps, with the rest living in Turkish towns and cities.