Anti-immigrant sentiment leads to violence in TurkeyGlobal Voices
A fight between a group of Syrian migrants and residents of the Turkish capital of Ankara on August 12 reflected worsening anti-immigrant sentiment in the country. Two Turkish citizens were stabbed in a clash, one of whom died after has been taken at a hospital. The incident sparked further violence as crowds ransacked and vandalized shops, homes and cars belonging to Syrian immigrants in Ankara’s Altindag neighborhood, which is residence to a large number of Syrians. The police have detained until now 76 people.
Gün içerisinde mahallenin gençleri mahallede “nizamı sağlamak” için bu şekilde gruplar halinde gezmeye başladı. Gençler Suriyeli arıyor pic.twitter.com/ZgrK8UXRVY
– nevsin mengu (@nevsinmengu) August 11, 2021
During the day, young Turks formed groups to “bring order” to the neighborhoods. They are looking for Syrians.
Riot police at the scene were understood urging residents not to allow any provocation.
Altındağ’da iki gencin bıçaklanması, 18 yaşındaki Emirhan Yalçın’ın ölümü üzerine yaşanan ırkçı saldırılara, her gün Suriyeli nefreti körükleyenler ne diyecek? Cinayetin faili yakalandı, ev taşlayıp çocuk yaralayanlar tespit edilebilecek mi? pic.twitter.com/paYQScoKKx
– Banu Guven (@banuguven) August 12, 2021
What will those who incite Syrian hatred on a daily basis to the racist attacks against the stabbings of two young people in Altındağ say after the death of 18-year-old Emirhan Yalçın? The perpetrator has been arrested, but will those who robbed the houses and injured the child be identified?
The district governor, who reportedly arrived at the scene, tried to defuse the tensions. But the rebellious crowd continued to voice their dissatisfaction as reported by BBC Turkish Service. “All [Syrians] must be made redundant, ”a woman shouted while another local said:
Just because we give them homes, economic opportunities, they think they’re above us. Then they come and say they don’t want Afghans in this country.
Talk to the Turkish service of the BBC, another resident of the area where the attacks took place said:
What will they do? Take them away? Instead, we say, give us half an hour. We’ll, as a nation, get them in half an hour. Our goal is not to kill them, but to send them back. They should go.
Meanwhile, Syrian residents have expressed concern for the safety of their families. A Syrian resident, whose domicile has been targeted says he will move as soon as possible and is afraid for his three children.
Anti-immigrant sentiments have reached a new high as Turkey finds itself hosting thousands of Afghan migrants fleeing for their safety. This coincided with a growing disillusion against the refugee agreement reached between Ankara and Brussels in 2016 in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. According to the agreement, Turkey stopped the influx of Syrian migrants to Europe in exchange for visa concessions and € 6 billion in aid to Syrians arriving in Turkey.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that around four million refugees, mostly Syrians, live in Turkey. Afghans are the second largest group.
But patience is running out as Turkey grapples with an influx of refugees, and an EU unwilling to follow through on 2016 pledges to flatten Turkey’s EU membership negotiations and concessions. visa for Turkish citizens.
On July 18, the leader of the opposition People’s Party of the Republic tweeted that Turkey would not become “an open prison for refugees”.
My call to the world: I am nothing like Erdogan. I come from the Kuvayi Milliye tradition. No one can declare our soldiers as guardians where they fled; or declare my country a prison open to refugees. Let me tell you in advance, very difficult negotiations await you.
– Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) July 18, 2021
A week later, following a maintenance conducted by the German newspaper Bild with Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz who said Turkey was a more suitable place for Afghan migrants, the Turkish Foreign Ministry published a declaration, saying: “Turkey will not welcome a new wave of migration” and that “Turkey will not be a border guard or a refugee camp for the EU”.
Some local observers said such statements as well as the lack of sound policies in place should be blamed for growing anti-immigrant sentiments in the country, with the clash in Ankara as a recent example.
Speaking to Deutsche Welle, sociologist Ulaş Sanata said:
Tensions between refugees and residents have never been properly defused. There have been a lot of mistakes in immigration policy. He was not transparent and poorly communicated.
Meanwhile, Metin Çorabatır, President of the Asylum and Immigration Research Center (IGAM), blame rhetoric used by politicians threatening to send immigrants home or refusing to accept more before the next election in 2023.
Çorabatır was referring to a July 16 tweet from Republic Party (CHP) opposition party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who claimed that once in power, the CHP would dismiss the Syrians.
İktidarımızda Suriyeli misafirlerimizle helalleşip iki yılda memleketlerine uğurlayacağız. Bu iktidarımızın en önemli beş önceliğinden biridir. Plan ve programlarımız hazır. Bu video da bunun taahhüdü olarak burada dursun istedim. pic.twitter.com/5kE4csutCo
– Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) July 16, 2021
If we become the government of the day, we will say goodbye to our Syrian guests. This is one of our five goals. We have our plans and programs ready. I wanted this video to be here as proof.
The leader of another Iyi opposition party, Meral Akşener, used similar rhetoric. Akşener said the government should get in touch with the Syrian leadership and send the Syrians back to their country as soon as possible.
Ülkemizi göçmen hendeğine dönüştüren iktidara, Genel Başkanımız sayın Meral Akşener yapılması gerekenleri söyledi;
-İran hükûmetinin sınırımıza bıraktığı Afganların gelişini durdurun.
-Biden ile ne görüşüldüğünü açıklayın.
-Suriyeli mülteciler ülkelerine geri gönderilsin. pic.twitter.com/7F7Pt3Bis5
– mit Dikbayir (@UmitDikbayir) August 16, 2021
Our General President, Meral Akşener said what needs to be done to the government that has turned our country into a ditch for migrants;
– Stop the arrival of Afghans left at our borders by the Iranian government.
– Explain what was discussed with Biden.
– Syrian refugees must be returned to their country.
Nezih Onur Kuru, political scientist Recount Al-Monitor in an interview that anti-Syrian violence in Ankara was “neither new nor surprising”. According to Kuru’s own research, there have been at least “246 separate incidents of violence against Syrian refugees since 2011”.
The situation has not always been so dire. According to a survey in 2012, only 52% of Turkish citizens disagreed with hosting Syrian refugees. But in a September 2018 poll, 83% of Turkish citizens already have negative opinions about Syrians.
Currently, the Syrians are under “temporary protection“by the government. As the government indicates on its website, temporary protection includes education for all children, health care and suitable places of worship, in addition to adult education centers that wish to have sufficient skills to work in Turkey.