Friday, July 7, 2017

Tensions between Syrian refugees, locals in Turkey reflect uneasy integration

Recent incidents in Turkey between locals and Syrian refugees have made headlines revealing anti-Syrian sentiments and reflecting problems in integration schemes in a country that has done more for Syrian refugees than any other country.

Several brawls, sometimes brutal, erupted in different towns such as Samsun, in the northwest on the Black Sea coast, where a gang of people tried to lynch two Syrian man allegedly taking pictures of women sunbathing.

In the capital Ankara, things got even worse and police had to use water cannons and tear gas to break up the fight between Turkish and Syrian groups.

After the TV channels and newspaper run the news, authorities tried immediately to calm things down.

"Occasional tensions erupting between Syrian refugees in Turkey and locals have recently been distorted and conveyed in an exaggerating way that would create indignation among the public," the Turkish Interior Ministry stated on Thursday.

In a written statement on its website, the ministry said the issue had been attempted to be turned into an element of instigation and domestic politics, explaining how the delinquency rate was low among the Syrians.

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