Syrian refugee in Turkey beaten unconscious with sticks and stones in 'racist attack'

Syrian refugee in Turkey beaten unconscious with sticks and stones in 'racist attack'
The Syrian man's motorcycle was also set alight following the attack.
2 min read
24 March, 2021
Tensions between Syrian refugee and host communities have risen in recent years [Getty]
A Syrian man was hospitalised on Sunday after he was allegedly assaulted by three men in Turkey in an attack dondemned as "racist" by a local politician.

The man, who has not been named, was reportedly attacked while working as a refuse collector.

As the man collected rubbish on the streets of the southern city of Antalya he was knocked off his motorbike by a van.

The three suspects then exited the vehicle pelting the refuse collector with sticks and stones.

The man was left unconcious and his motorcycle destroyed after the suspects ran over the bike and set it alight.

Two of the three suspects identified in the assault, which was captured on CCTV, have been detained by local authorities in Antalya.

Hasan Alkan, the local chair of the Labour Party, has condemned the attack as a hate crime, linking it to previous assaults on Syrian refugees in the city.

"Rage that has accumulated in the face of unemployment and poverty leads to racist attacks," Alkan was quoted as saying by Evrensel.

"The governorate and the police should take the necessary precautions. Such attacks should not be registered as a simple crime. This is not only an assault - it is racism, it is a hate crime."

More than 3.6 million Syrians have fled their homes for Turkey throughout the decade-long uprising and civil war.

Tolerance of refugee communities has sunk in recent years, with advocates pointing to misinformation and scapegoating in local media.

A 2019 study by Kadir Has University in Istanbul showed growing hostility towards Syrian refugees in the city, rising from 54.5 percent of respondents in 2017 to 67.7 percent in 2019.
That year, Ankara was accused of deporting refugees to Syria in contravention of international law.

Syrians living in Turkey do not hold official refugee status. They are registered with the government under a "temporary protection" status.

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