Nine-year-old Syrian refugee commits suicide in Turkey’s northwest

A 9-year-old Syrian boy, who fled his war-torn country with his family, committed suicide in Turkey’s northwestern province of Kocaeli after allegedly being ostracised at school.

Wail Es Suud was found hanging on the gate of a cemetery after attending afternoon prayer at a nearby mosque in the town of Kartepe, opposition news site Oda TV reported on Saturday.

Initial reports indicate the boy had been scolded by a teacher the day of the incident and was ostracised by his peers at school for being Syrian, the site said. 

Wail was the only Syrian child in his school and got along well with his teachers, however, he was singled out by classmates for his background, his father, Mustafa Es Suud, told the Independent Turkish.

The father said Wail had left his home saying we would attend prayer and come back.

"We came here because we see Turks like our brothers and sisters. I think that those who are calling for Syrians to leave are using us for their own domestic political discussions," the father said. 

Turkey is home to 3.6 million Syrian refugees. Resentment against Syrians in Turkey is high, particularly among opposition supporters who see the refugee population as a consequence of the government’s foreign policies. Anger against the group has risen since an economic downturn began last year, raising unemployment to 13 percent. 

The local prosecutor’s office will launch an investigation into the death of the 9-year-old boy, Oda TV said.