Syrian man in Istanbul 'stabbed to death while sleeping'

Syrian man in Istanbul 'stabbed to death while sleeping'
Nayef Mohammed Al-Nayef, 19, was asleep when a group of masked assailants stormed the flat he lived in and stabbed him to death, according to reports in Turkish media.
2 min read
12 January, 2022
The attack occurred in the Bayrampaşa district of Istanbul [NurPhoto/Getty-file photo]

Masked assailants stabbed a Syrian teenager to death at his home in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Monday night, Turkish media have reported

19-year-old Nayef Mohammed Al-Nayef was asleep when the assailants stormed the flat he shared with seven other Syrians in the Bayrampaşa district of the city.

"A group of masked Turkish youths entered a group housing unit for Syrians at two in the morning, destroying the surveillance cameras," Syrian refugee rights activist Taha Ghazi told The New Arab's Arabic sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

"They then stabbed young Nayef Mohammed al-Nayef in the chest while he was sleeping, killing him. They also broke the items in the house."

The severity of al-Nayef's injuries and a delay in the arrival of the ambulance meant he could not be saved, Ghazi said.

Syrians living in the area told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that al-Nayef is from rebel-held Idlib province in northwestern Syria.

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The motive behind the attack is not clear. However, it comes after years of discrimination against Syrians in Turkey. Politicians have capitalized on anti-Syrian sentiment in the run-up to next year's general elections.

Less than 24 hours before the attack, a Syrian market in Istanbul was vandalised.

"His friends confirmed that he didn’t have any issues with residents in the neighbourhood," Ghazi said of al-Nayef.

Police are investigating the attack, Turkish media reported.

The head of the Syrian Lawyers Association in Turkey, Ghazwan Qaranful, previously told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that Turkey is working on a law criminalising racist actions and speech.