Syrian refugees forced to move away after their homes attacked in Aegean İzmir
Syrian residents of Aegean İzmir's Cumhuriyet Neighborhood have been forced to leave their homes after tensions spiked last week over the murder of a local teenager by a member of the community.
A majority of Syrian residents in İzmir's Cumhuriyet Neighborhood were forced to abandon their homes as tensions rose in the area following the murder of a local teenager by a Syrian national, local Egesesonsöz daily reported on Oct. 4.
The 17-year-old Batuhan Barlak was stabbed by the 20-year-old Syrian refugee M.A. during a verbal brawl in the neighborhood in the Torbalı district on Sept. 29 evening, and the injured died soon after in the hospital.
Barlak's death led to an attack on Syrian homes and shops in the neighborhood a day later on Sept. 30. A mob of 150 people set a Syrian house on fire and also threw rocks at some houses.
Following the attack, 11 people were detained, among whom seven were arrested on charges of property damage and inciting hatred among the public.
"There were about 120 [Syrian] families registered in the neighborhood. Following the attack, they had all left to stay with their families. And a couple of days ago, they started to move away," said neighborhood head Atatekin Doğan.
The neighborhood community doesn't know where the refugees moved to, but the police were present during their relocation, Doğan added.
This is the second mass attack targeting Syrians in less than two months.
Hundreds of people attacked Syrians' homes and businesses in Ankara's Altındağ district on Aug. 11, as they chanted anti-Syrian and Islamist slogans. Many Syrians fled their homes over security concerns after the attack that left one child wounded.
Anti-refugee sentiment has been running high in Turkey, which houses nearly four million Syrian refugees, most recently flaring up with the arrival of thousands of Afghans.