The governor of the western province of Bolu issued a list of rules that he asked refugees in the province to comply with.
Among the rules are controversial suggestions such as not going outside after 9 p.m. “unless it is a necessity” and “not bothering neighbors by using too much spices” in the dishes, online news portal T24 reported.
Bolu Gov. Ahmet Ümit made the remarks on Sept. 22 as he met with representatives of the refugee communities from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Iran.
A statement released by the governor's office said that Gov. Ümit had “conveyed to representatives through translators about the issues that foreign guests need to pay attention to in our province,” T24 said.
Gov. Ümit said the suggestions were compiled as a result of some “searches” that were carried out in response to “foreigners' actions and activities that draw Turkish society's reaction” and which Turks “find antipathetic.”
In line with the measures, the governor's office asked refugees “not to walk around in groups in public areas such as parks, gardens and squares.”
Among the other rules are “not getting into political debates and staying away from conflicts,” “avoiding actions and behaviors that draw the society's reaction,” “avoiding to look at women in a staring way,” “giving Turkish names to businesses,” “avoiding to speak loudly in a way that bothers others,” “avoiding to listen to music loudly,” “being sensitive to the moral values of our society,” “knowing the value of the Turkish Republic which serves as a shelter for all of us and being sensitive about protecting the country's interests,” and “not carrying any flag, banner or similar symbols other the Turkish flag.”
Hate speech against refugees in Turkey is on the rise amid a recent wave of refugees from Afghanistan. Refugees are blamed for the country's increasing economic troubles.
In July, Bolu Mayor Tanju Özcan said that his municipality plans to increase the water and solid waste tax received from foreign nationals by 10 times. In August, by a majority of votes, the Bolu municipal council approved the mayor's proposal. After a review of the proposal by the municipality's planning and budget commission, it will be discussed at the municipal council once again and voted on.