Crowded group marches against Syrian refugees in Kocaeli province

A crowd in Kocaeli province who was outraged by the allegation that some Syrian refugees killed a dog and attacked a house on June 2 organized a march in the district at night to "send the refugees away." The governor's office stated that no such attack took place.

Duvar English

Some people on June 2 claimed that Syrian refugees poisoned a dog in Kocaeli province’s Dilovası district and raided a house after an argument. Following the allegations, a crowded group took to the streets and marched against Syrian refugees in the district, chanting slogans for them to be deported.

Videos shared on social media showed that a large number of police teams and riot police were dispatched to the area.

Nationalist İYİ (Good) Party Kocaeli MP Lütfü Türkkan made a statement on his Twitter account and stated that the group on June 3 will gather in front of the district governor’s office again.

Kocaeli Governor’s Office stated, “Our security personnel intervened rapidly to the incidents that took place after a quarrel with a group of our citizens against a person who they thought caused the killing of a dog in our district." 

The governor’s office said that no incident of attacks against the citizens' houses took place and that 10 foreigners were handed over to the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management to be deported.

Green Left Party (YSP) Kocaeli MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu warned, "What started as a criminal case may turn into a lynching incident like the one in Altındağ district of Ankara. The authorities should be sensitive." A very large group in 2021 organized a pogrom against Syrian refugees living in Altındağ district, attacked their shops and homes.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kocaeli MP Nail Çiler also claimed that the number of refugees has recently increased in the district and said, "Integration of refugees has not been achieved. In fact, such incidents are happening all over Turkey right now. This incident should not be evaluated as a simple criminal case. We are worried about the growth of these incidents."

According Interior Ministry, 3,614,000 registered Syrian refugees live in Turkey while 52,801 of them live in Kocaeli province. As of 2023, Turkey has been leading the list of countries receiving the highest number of refugees for nine years.