Syrian man in Istanbul 'stabbed to death while sleeping'
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.
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.