Ankara police detain 72 more people in connection with attack on Syrians

The Ankara police said on Aug. 13 that they had detained another 72 people for involvement in the attack against Syrians in the Altındağ district or for sharing provocative social media posts.

A firefighter extinguishes goods of a shop burnt during attack against Syrian refugees in Ankara on Aug 11.

Duvar English

The Ankara police announced on Aug. 13 that another 72 people had been detained in connection with the attack against Syrian refugees from two days earlier.

“Seventy-two more individuals who have not abided by the warnings of our security officials, who have shared provocative social media posts and who were being sought on various offenses, have been caught,” the police said in a written statement.

Twenty-nine out of the detainees are facing administrative procedures, whereas 43 of them are facing legal processes, the statement said. The police also said that 28 of those detained had criminal records, including looting, willful injury, property damaging, drug abuse and burglary.

Hundreds of people on Aug. 11 poured into the streets to attack the homes and businesses of Syrians in Altındağ's Önder and Battalgazi neighborhoods, revealing what the racist policies of politicians and fake social media rumors have come to.

Crowds chanting anti-Syrian and Islamist slogans were seen attacking Syrians' properties in various videos shared on social media on Aug. 11.

The attack came after 18-year-old Emirhan Yalçın was killed in a fight between the Syrians and locals in the same neighborhood earlier in the day. Two people had been arrested in connection to the fighting.

The Ankara police initially said they had detained 76 people for involvement in the unrest or for making misleading posts on social media in order to provoke Turkish citizens after the fight in Altındağ.

Syrians were seen leaving their homes on Aug. 12 over security concerns. 

Those in the attacked neighborhood told Duvar that they're afraid to go out. 

Among those wounded was even a child who was hospitalized after sustaining an injury by a stone thrown at his family's home.

Anti-refugee sentiment has been running high in Turkey, most recently flaring up with the arrival of thousands of Afghans.