Three arrested in Turkey following attack on Afghan refugees

Three arrested in Turkey following attack on Afghan refugees
Three men were arrested on Sunday in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey, over a viral video in which they are pictured beating two Afghan refugees and forcing them to say political slogans.
3 min read
06 May, 2019
The Afghan refugees were forced to say Turkish nationalist slogans [Getty]

Three men were arrested on Sunday in Turkey after a video emerged on social media showing them beat two Afghan refugees in the countrry.

Three men are seen in the video beating a refugee from Afghanistan with a belt, while forcing him and another Afghan refugee to pronounce Turkish political slogans related to the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).

Three unnamed men were arrested on Sunday over the video, the Cay public prosecutor's office in the western province of Afyonkarahisar said in a statement.

The suspects reportedly stopped the Afghan refugees on a street and started to beat and insult them.

The Afghan men were then allegedly forced into the home of one of the suspects under the threat of violence, where the ordeal continued and the video was filmed.

One of the refugees was able to escape, according to the statement published by Yeni Safak.

The prosecutor's office added that it had found no evidence that the suspects and the victims had prior knowledge of one another.

In the video, one of the men repeatedly beats an Afghan men with a belt.

"Look, what's this? What is this?" the man with belt shouts while he continue to beat the Afghan man. "Give an answer, give an answer, man. What is this?"

The Afghan man, trying to shield his head from the belt with both his hands, responds that he does not know.

"How don't you know?” he repeats. "You Afghans don't know."

The men then move on to trying to get the man to repeat phrases related to Turkish nationalism.

"Ataturk, Ataturk," he shouts, gesturing with a peace sign while referring to the founder of the Turkish Republic.

"Do that over there," the man directs the Afghan, pointing towards the camera. "Do it."

The Afghan man then gestures towards the camera, repeating the founder's name.

The men then ask him to say the phrase "six arrows", a reference to the six political principles set forth by Ataturk.

The "six arrows" form part of the logo of the CHP, which was founded by Ataturk.

The video then cuts to show another Afghan man, who appears to be a teenager.

A man behind the camera shouts another direction - he must say "Kilicdaroglu", the last name of the current leader of the CHP

The man then directs the Afghan to repeat after him: "The greatest. Ataturk."

Finally, he forces the Afghan man to say "How happy is the one who says I am Turk", a famous nationalist motto first uttered by Ataturk and for decades included in the student oath children must recite every morning at school.

Pro-government Yeni Safak labelled the attackers CHP supporters due the phrases used in the video, while some anti-government Turkish social media users posited that the video could be a hoax designed to discredit the CHP.

The CHP seized two of Turkey's largest cities from the control of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the 31 March local elections.

The CHP victory over Istanbul and Ankara signalled a major defeat for the AKP, which, along with its predecessors, had held control over the cities for 25 years.

Some members of the CHP have been hostile to Turkey's refugee population.

A newly elected CHP mayor in Bolu province in April made good on one of his central election promises - to cut municipal funds going to Syrian refugees.

He also promised to deny Syrians business permits.