Local mob vandalizes Syrian homes, businesses in central Turkey

A local mob set Syrian homes and businesses on fire in Turkey’s central Kayseri province after allegations of a case of child abuse spread in the neighborhood. Police detained 67 people from the attacking mob and used water cannon vehicles to disperse the crowd.

Duvar English

A mob in central Turkey’s Melikgazi district on June 30 overturned vehicles and set fire to some Syrian-owned businesses as news of a child abuse incident spread in the district. 

The incident occurred at 9 p.m. in the Danişmentgazi neighborhood, when the news of a Syrian man allegedly abusing a five-year-old child spread through the neighborhood. The mob took to the streets, vandalizing Syrian-owned businesses and vehicles. Numerous police, medical, and fire teams were dispatched to the scene, according to reporting by the Demirören News Agency (DHA). 

Police apprehended the suspect and removed him from the area, also intervened with water cannons to disperse the crowd.

The mob shouts nationalist slogans while vandalizing Syrian residences. 

Kayseri Governor Gökmen Çiçek arrived at the scene. He addressed the crowd from a nearby apartment balcony, urging them to remain calm. Çiçek noted that five police officers were injured and said, "I understand your anger and pain. I have received your message. For god's sake, let's ensure no harm comes to our police. We will do whatever is necessary. No one should be hurt here. Five police officers are currently injured. The state will take all necessary actions. I want everyone to disperse."

In another video circulating social media, Çiçek is heard saying the abuse victim was also Syrian while pleading with the crowd. 

After the incident, the Kayseri Governor's Office made a statement on social media. The statement read, "In our Danışmentgazi neighborhood, a Syrian national was detained by our security units following an incident of abuse against a young Syrian child. The child is under our protection. We are diligently following the matter and urge our citizens to act calmly and refrain from any actions outside of official statements."

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya noted that 67 people were detained in the incident, and said that the group "acted illegally, in ways unbecoming of humane values," as they destructed homes, businesses, and vehicles belonging to Syrian residents.