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Feb 10 2019

Dispute between Turks and Syrian refugees turned violent in Istanbul

A dispute between some Syrian refugees and Turks quickly turned violent in Istanbul's Esenyurt district late Saturday, Turkish news website Sendika.org reported. 

Last night, in one of Istanbul's refugee settlements Esenyurt, some Syrian refugees and Turkish citizens living in the same district had quarrelled. The cause of the dispute is unknown. The altercation escalated soon and it turned into mass physical attack with knives and batons against the Syrian refugees. Turkish group got crowded and started to attack Syrian workplaces and 12 people injured during the incident, Sendika.org said. 

During the incidents, some Turks set up a chant of "This is Turkey, not Syria’’ and shouted "Allahu akbar". Police interfered the incident and detained three Syrian refugees, according to Sendika.org. Turkish authorities said there no casualties and injured people were treated at the hospital. 

 

Several social media users posted tweets saying the incident was a racist attack against the Syrians, while some others supported the Turkish group. 

Istanbul's Esenyurt district has become one of the major settlements of Syrian refugees in Istanbul. Syrian refugees manage 60 percent of the workplaces in the district. Some of the marketplaces run by Syrians are called as Aleppo and Damascus bazaars. 

Turkey has been home to more than 3 million refugees due to the Syrian civil war. Their presence has been considered as the main cause of unemployment and high rents in the country by some Turks.